NBA History of Science Seminar

Graham Farmelo, "Niels Bohr and Paul Dirac: Father and son in science."


Graham Farmelo, Senior Research Fellow, Science Museum, London; Adjunct Professor of Physics, Northeastern University, Boston.

Among the pioneering quantum physicists, Paul Dirac is often regarded as the great loner. Yet his relationships with his peers were extremely important to him, none more than his friendship with Niels Bohr.

Using research done for a new biography of Dirac, I shall argue that Bohr was a father-figure to Dirac and that no relationship was more important to the shy Englishman.

I shall also present some of the findings that have emerged in the course of research for the biography, which I hope will shed new light on the personality of Dirac.