The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Mystic of the Atom

Front Cover
Basic Books, Jun 28, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 560 pages
From the Publisher: Paul Dirac was among the great scientific geniuses of the modern age. One of the discoverers of quantum mechanics, the most revolutionary theory of the past century, his contributions had a unique insight, eloquence, clarity, and mathematical power. His prediction of antimatter was one of the greatest triumphs in the history of physics. One of Einstein's most admired colleagues, Dirac was in 1933 the youngest theoretician ever to win the Nobel Prize in physics. Dirac's personality is legendary. He was an extraordinarily reserved loner, relentlessly literal-minded and appeared to have no empathy with most people. Yet he was a family man and was intensely loyal to his friends. His tastes in the arts ranged from Beethoven to Cher, from Rembrandt to Mickey Mouse. Based on previously undiscovered archives, The Strangest Man reveals the many facets of Dirac's brilliantly original mind. A compelling human story, The Strangest Man also depicts a spectacularly exciting era in scientific history.
 

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User Review  - greeniezona - LibraryThing

It wasn't until very near the end of this book that I finally identified the niggling something that had seemed strange throughout it. Most biographies are driven by emotional narrative. To put it in ... Read full review

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User Review  - GalenWiley - LibraryThing

'A monumental achievement - one of the great scientific biographies.' Michael Frayn The Strangest Man is the Costa Biography Award-winning account of Paul Dirac, the famous physicist sometimes called ... Read full review

Contents

Prologue
1
One
7
Two
20
Three
29
Four
47
Five
55
Six
76
Seven
94
Twenty
267
Twentyone
284
Twentytwo
303
Twentythree
319
Twentyfour
332
Twentyfive
345
Twentysix
360
Twentyseven
374

Eight
107
Nine
121
Ten
131
Eleven
140
Twelve
149
Thirteen
160
Fourteen
171
Fifteen
184
Sixteen
204
Seventeen
218
Eighteen
237
Nineteen
247
Twentyeight
391
Twentynine
408
Thirty
419
Thirtyone
428
Abbreviations in Notes
439
Notes
441
Bibliography
495
List of Plates
507
Acknowledgements
509
Index
515
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Graham Farmelo is a Senior Research Fellow at the Science Museum, London, and Adjunct Professor of Physics at Northeastern University. He lives in London, England.

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