Paul A.M. Dirac


Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac

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Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac
The Nobel Prize in Physics 1933

Born: 8 August 1902, Bristol, United Kingdom

Died: 20 October 1984, Tallahassee, FL, USA

Affiliation at the time of the award: University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom

Prize motivation: “for the discovery of new productive forms of atomic theory”

Prize share: 1/2


During the intense period of 1925-26 quantum theories were proposed that accurately described the energy levels of electrons in atoms. These equations needed to be adapted to Einstein’s theory of relativity, however. In 1928 Paul Dirac formulated a fully relativistic quantum theory. The equation gave solutions that he interpreted as being caused by a particle equivalent to the electron, but with a positive charge. This particle, the positron, was later confirmed through experiments.

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