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Paul Dirac: The man and his work. Edited by Peter Goddard. Memorial address by Stephen Hawking. (English) Zbl 0917.01032
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. xv, 124 p. (1998).
In 1995 a plaque in Westminster Abbey was dedicated to Paul Dirac. This volume contains four lectures on Dirac’s life and work which were presented in the Royal Society as preliminary to the ceremony in the Abbey:
1. A. Pais gave a survey on Paul Dirac’s life and work, i.e. a historical sketch. Unfortunately the notes at the end are so short that even the titles of the quoted articles are often missing. This paper is illustrated by photos in possession of Margit Dirac.
2. M. Jacob presented some explanations how and why antimatter plays an important role. There is also mentioned the importance of beauty of mathematical formulas and theories for Dirac.
3. D. Olive summarized Dirac’s work on magnetic monopoles, initiating in 1931.
4. M. Atiyah explained the significance of the Dirac equation in mathematics, its roots in algebra, and its implications for geometry and topology.
The book was not primarily written for historians and not by historians. Its intention was mainly to emphasize the importance of Paul Dirac’s work in regard to the development of quantum and relativity theory which was honoured by the Nobel prize in 1933.
Reviewer: K.Reich (Wentorf)

MSC:
01A70 Biographies, obituaries, personalia, bibliographies
01-02 Research exposition (monographs, survey articles) pertaining to history and biography
01A60 History of mathematics in the 20th century
81-03 History of quantum theory
83-03 History of relativity and gravitational theory
Biographic References:
Dirac, Paul
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