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Quantum Mechanics

Dirac Predicts Antimatter

 

The thin trail of the positron is seen in the middle of the photo. The positron moves upwards through a horizontal 3 mm lead plate and its trajectory is curved by a magnetic field. The direction was determined from the observation that the particle had lost energy going through the lead plate and was therefore curving more in the magnetic field.

 

Dirac's work meant that light could be properly described as either a wave or a particle for the first time. Perhaps Dirac's most impressive achievement was the prediction of the positron – the antimatter partner of the electron with the same mass and spin but with opposite charge. Dirac's new formulation of quantum mechanics won him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1933 along with Schrödinger. The positron was subsequently discovered by Anderson in 1932, a feat which won him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1936.

 

Related Laureates

 The Nobel Prize in Physics 1933 - Erwin Schrödinger »  The Nobel Prize in Physics 1933 - Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac »  The Nobel Prize in Physics 1936 - Carl David Anderson »
 



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