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The Strangest Man

The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Quantum Genius

The Strangest Man by Graham Farmelo
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'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

Faber & Faber; January 2009
540 pages; ISBN 9780571250073
Read online, or download in secure EPUB
Title: The Strangest Man
Author: Graham Farmelo
 
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