# Paul Dirac

**Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac** (1902-1984) was a British theoretical physicist who helped develop mathematical expressions of relativistic quantum mechanics. His scientific philosophy was this: "Physical laws should have mathematical beauty and simplicity."

Dirac developed an equation of motion for the wavefunction of the electron based on relativity (*"The importance of Dirac's work lies essentially in his famous wave equation, which introduced special relativity into Schrödinger's equation."*.^{[1]}) Dirac predicted the existence of the positron, the electron's antiparticle, which was subsequently discovered by Carl Anderson in 1932. Dirac shared the Nobel Prize in 1933 with Erwin Schrödinger.^{[2]} Dirac was the founder of quantum electrodynamics.

Dirac published the "Principles of Quantum Mechanics" in 1930, which introduced the widely used Dirac delta function and bra-ket notation. Inspired in part by this book, the physicist Richard Feynman later proposed a path integral formulation of quantum mechanics in 1948.

Dirac spent most of his career at Cambridge University; he later taught at Florida State University.

Dirac was such an outspoken atheist that fellow physicist Wolfgang Pauli is said to had quipped: "Our friend Dirac also has a religion! The central tenet of his religion is: 'There is no God, and Dirac is His prophet.' "

## References

- ↑ The Official Web Site of the Nobel Prize: Biography of Paul Dirac
- ↑ The Official Web Site of the Nobel Prize: The Nobel Prize in Physics 1933 Erwin Schrödinger, Paul A.M. Dirac

## Further reading

- Farmelo, Graham.
*The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Mystic of the Atom*(2009)