The Royal Society @royalsociety The Royal Society is a Fellowship of the world's most eminent scientists and is the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence. Aug. 08, 2019 1 min read

"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."

You can follow @royalsociety.


Tip: mention @threader_app on a Twitter thread with the keyword “compile” to get a link to it.

Threader is an independent project created by only two developers. The site gets 500,000+ visits a month and our iOS Twitter client was featured as an App of the Day by Apple. Running this space is expensive and time consuming. If you find Threader useful, please consider supporting us to make it a sustainable project.