"This balancing on the dizzying path between genius and madness is awful" Albert Einstein ForMemRS on Paul Dirac FRS who was born #OnThisDay. The physicist & Nobel Laureate is known for his exploration of quantum mechanics describing fermions’ behaviour and predicting antimatter
Dirac was well respected for his insight, but he was also well known by other scientists as being an unusual character. His colleagues at Cambridge created a unit of time called a Dirac, which was one word an hour. Here are some more quotes from his life.
He criticised the physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer's interest in poetry: "The aim of science is to make difficult things understandable in a simpler way; the aim of poetry is to state simple things in an incomprehensible way. The two are incompatible."
'Why do you dance?' Dirac once asked Werner Heisenberg. 'When there are nice girls, it is a pleasure,' Heisenberg replied. Dirac pondered this notion, then blurted out: 'But, Heisenberg, how do you know beforehand that the girls are nice?'"
And one for the lecturers:
After a lecture, someone raised a hand and said: "I don't understand the equation on the blackboard". After a long silence, the moderator asked Dirac if he wanted to answer the question
Dirac replied: "That was not a question, it was a comment."
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