Saturday, 24 March 2012 06:17

Paul Dirac: Men of Ideas

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Paul Dirac (1902-1984) was a British theoretical physicist. He made seminal contributions to Quantum Mechanics. Dirac was noted for formulating what is now called Dirac equation, which describes the behavior of fermions and which led to the prediction of the existence of anti matter. For this discovery he was awarded the 1933 Nobel Prize in Physics (along with Erwin Schrödinger).

Dirac built on Pauli’s non-relativistic spin systems to propose what is now called Dirac equation, a relativistic equation of motion for the wave function of the electron. His equation led him to predict the existence of an anti electron particle, positron. Other observers have verified the existence of the positron.

Dirac showed that electrons are constantly created and destroyed (theory of Beta Decay) and this finding is considered a fundamental contribution to physics.

Dirac is considered the founder of quantum electrodynamics. Dirac also did some work on the polarization of vacuum. His textbook, Principles of Quantum Mechanics, published in 1930, for many years remained the standard textbook in the field.

Dirac had antiparty to religion and God; he believed that only what can be verified and or falsified has any basis for scientific discussion. He considered religion useless poetry.   He was a prophet of the religion that God does not exist (for the belief that God does not exist is every bit a religion, for its thesis has not been verified or falsified).

Some speculate that given Dirac’s social awkwardness that he may have had Asperger’s disease, an aspect of autism?

REFERENCES

Paul Dirac. Principles of Quantum Mechanics. (1930)

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Ozodi Osuji Ph.D

Ozodi Thomas Osuji is from Imo State, Nigeria. He obtained his PhD from UCLA. He taught at a couple of Universities and decided to go back to school and study psychology. Thereafter, he worked in the mental health field and was the Executive Director of two mental health agencies. He subsequently left the mental health environment with the goal of being less influenced by others perspectives, so as to be able to think for himself and synthesize Western, Asian and African perspectives on phenomena. Dr Osuji’s goal is to provide us with a unique perspective, one that is not strictly Western or African but a synthesis of both. Dr Osuji teaches, writes and consults on leadership, management, politics, psychology and religions. Dr Osuji is married and has three children; he lives at Anchorage, Alaska, USA.

He can be reached at: ozodiosuji@gmail.com (907) 310-8176