The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Mystic of the Atom
Author: Graham Farmelo
Publisher: Basic Books (AZ)
Release Date: August 01, 2009
'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