Farmelo has a deep affection for his subject. Though not schooled in physics I follow the popularizations of cosmological science personalities and explanations of the fascinating worlds of physics. I loved the biography on Einstein and this volume is as informative and entertaining.
The author's discussions of university department cultures and the social turmoils and war during the time periods was interesting. All in all a very good yarn about a very interesting man who did amazing things.
Chet Yarbrough, an audio book addict, exercises two cocker spaniels twice a day with an Ipod in his pocket and earbuds in his ears. Hope these few reviews seduce the public into a similar obsession but walk safely and be aware of the unaware.
Considered by some to be the second Einstein of Physics’, Paul Dirac is practically unknown to most of the non scientific community. But Graham Farmelo, in “The Strangest Man”, reflects on Dirac’s genius.
Though Dirac made monumental theoretical contributions in the field of Physics, he fails to acquire the same cosmological gravitas as Albert Einstein or Niels Bohr, largely because of his lack of charisma.
Farmelo’s biography shows Dirac as a human being working through life, burdened by perceptions of childhood, blessed with a superior perception of reality but subject to the exigencies of living any life in this world; the difference being that Dirac was a genius among geniuses.
I am a math teacher in a vocational school. I want to become a physics teacher also. Self development, teaching and upbringing intrest me.
When there is a good reader like Harrison and no need for pictures/ graphs audio book is allways better than a book. I enjoy the faster speed it gives me feeling I can have more enjoyment per time
Any biographys of a physicist, but with Bohr's words: Dirac is the strangest.
He made Dirac into such a mouse that it was entertaining but I was disappointed when I listened his lecture and realized that he was a fair lecturer
Mind over matter - story ofa mouse that freed the lion
I am sure there are many people who will not find this entertaining, but in some places I could not help laughing.
Economic litigation attorney. Reading, the arts and physical activity are all necessary.
So the author, Graham Farmelo, has a suspicion why Paul Dirac was such a brainiac of a mathematician and theoretical cosmologist but only provides his suspicion in the last 40 minutes of the story. The story itself lays down no foundation for the speculation - it just comes out of left field - but would have provided more of a plot if woven into the story that was told. Yes, you are informed how essential this emotionally damaged man was for the progress of the study and development of quantum mechanics but to get there you need to listen to endless tales of how this bore of a man made it through life; i.e., his family were generally hobbled humans, and because he caught a lucky drift and he had truely genius ingitht in foreseeing into sub-atomics, life took him for a good ride - he made no choice just drifted to where we find him - a distinquished scholar. There is some intrigue as we learn about all the faulted personalities that shaped his life but none of it was told in a manner to give oneself a true learning experience nor will I recollect any of the happenings as guideposts in making my life decisions.
If one needs a very long compendium of the progress of quantum mechanics from the 1910s throught the early 1980s, this may be a good road map.
Please don't blame me if I said anything in this review that encourages you to read or listen to the biography
It is one of those cases when the narration works against the content. Just out of respect to the complexity of the subject in which Dirac excelled and the intensity of molding of his own individuality over decades and epochs, one revolts against the narration's idiotically repetitive inflections with very occasional regard to meaning. Two fairly straightforward Russian names - Gamov and Kapitsa are brutalized to the point of parody. Kapitsa is a presence throughout most of the story. I winced every time the name was articulated. The Quantum Mechanics fellowship of the 20th century was a multinational crowd with some foreign sounding names - does the job description of the audiobook narrator actually include at least checking the pronunciation of the names and the terminology?
The story itself is deeply researched and put together in a thoughtful and colorful way. I wanted to have more of the intellectual context but I appreciate the amount of material the author went through in reconstructing the personal history of Paul Dirac. Since it's an audiobook, the quality of the story absolutely needs be matched with the quality of the delivery.
The story was drawn out and made it unbearable. I had to stop listening and was pretty disappointed that I wasted my money
This is a comprehensive discussion of the life and works of the great man, Paul Dirac. The author does an excellent job at painting a picture, and I could see, in my mind's eye, every scene.
The narrator is engaging, and I was hooked on every word. I only wish I could find another biography on a physicist of this era, done this well.
Bravo, I only depressed its over.
I felt like I was there as these events took place. Very engaging.
If you're looking to learn field theory, or relativistic quantum mechanics, well then this is not for you. If you want to spend some time learning about one of physics most interesting characters, and empathize with him...then enjoy.
Keep in mind this book is about Physics, if you don't have an interest or some sort of background in the science's it may be a bit of a difficult to follow book. The story is great, a very miss-understood man.
The downside is the performance can be slow at times.
Overall a great book!
This was my first book about Dirac. Graham Farmelo has written a wonderful story about someone whom little is written. I did not care for the narration by B. J. Harrison. I bought the hardback and found it hard to put down. The narrator seemed to have trouble with the text and was too slow and boring.
I could not finish the audible version.
Farmelo provides exceptionally clear explanations of some very difficult science as well as a fascinating portrait of Dirac the man set in a vivid historical time. A testament to the book that it survives the affected reader, who repeatedly misplaces emphasis in a sentence, uses a jarring, artificial diction, and emotes as if he were reading a romance novel.