The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Quantum Genius

The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Quantum Genius

Paperback

By (author) Graham Farmelo

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  • Publisher: Faber & Faber Non-Fiction
  • Format: Paperback | 560 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 196mm x 42mm | 458g
  • Publication date: 24 December 2009
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0571222862
  • ISBN 13: 9780571222865
  • Sales rank: 28,534

Product description

"A monumental achievement - one of the great scientific biographies." (Michael Frayn). The Strangest Man is the Costa Biography Award-winning account of Paul Dirac, the famous physicist sometimes called the British Einstein. He was one of the leading pioneers of the greatest revolution in twentieth-century science: quantum mechanics. The youngest theoretician ever to win the Nobel Prize for Physics, he was also pathologically reticent, strangely literal-minded and legendarily unable to communicate or empathize. Through his greatest period of productivity, his postcards home contained only remarks about the weather. Based on a previously undiscovered archive of family papers, Graham Farmelo celebrates Dirac's massive scientific achievement while drawing a compassionate portrait of his life and work. Farmelo shows a man who, while hopelessly socially inept, could manage to love and sustain close friendship. The Strangest Man is an extraordinary and moving human story, as well as a study of one of the most exciting times in scientific history. "A wonderful book...Moving, sometimes comic, sometimes infinitely sad, and goes to the roots of what we mean by truth in science." (Lord Waldegrave, Daily Telegraph).

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Author information

Graham Farmelo is a By-Fellow at Churchill College, Cambridge, and an Adjunct Professor of Physics at Northeastern University, Boston, USA. He edited the bestselling It Must be Beautiful: Great Equations of Modern Science in 2002. His biography of Paul Dirac, The Strangest Man, won the 2009 Costa Biography Award and the 2010 Los Angeles Times Science Book Prize. To find out more go to www.grahamfarmelo.com