Paul Dirac Biography
(One of the Most Significant Physicists of the 20th Century and Nobel Laureate)
Birthday: August 8, 1902 (Leo)
Born In: Bristol, England
Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac was an English theoretical physicist and one of the pioneers in quantum mechanics and quantum electrodynamics. He had an unhappy childhood, and in spite of possessing the ability to speak French, German and Russian, he was known for his long silences. He was particularly interested in mathematics and after hearing of Einstein, he got into advanced physics and visited Niels Bohr for research work. Soon he earned the admiration, respect and friendship of geniuses including Bohr, Heisenberg, and Gamow. Evidence of his proficiency comes from the fact that he proposed anti-matter only on the basis of his mathematical logic telling him that it must exist. He worked through the rise of the Nazi party in Europe, the repressions of Stalinist Russia, the World War II, the McCarthy era and the Cold War. A brilliant physicist who made invaluable contributions to science, he was an unusual man on the personal front. He was known for his taciturn nature and was outspoken in his criticism of others. The winner of several prestigious awards including the 1933 Nobel Prize for physics which he shared with Erwin Schrödinger, he had turned down a knighthood as he did not want to be addressed by his first name.