Paul Dirac was among the great scientific geniuses of the modern age. One of the discoverers of quantum mechanics, the most revolutionary theory of the past century, his contributions had a unique insight, eloquence, clarity, and mathematical power. His prediction of antimatter was one of the greatest triumphs in the history of physics.
One of Einstein's most admired colleagues, Dirac was in 1933 the youngest theoretician ever to win the Nobel Prize in physics. Dirac's personality is legendary. He was an extraordinarily reserved loner, relentlessly literal-minded, and appeared to have no empathy with most people. Yet he was a family man and was intensely loyal to his friends. His tastes in the arts ranged from Beethoven to Cher, from Rembrandt to Mickey Mouse.
Based on previously undiscovered archives, The Strangest Man reveals the many facets of Dirac's brilliantly original mind. A compelling human story, The Strangest Man also depicts a spectacularly exciting era in scientific history.
©2009 Graham Farmelo; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
"Farmelo proves himself a wizard at explaining the arcane aspects of particle physics. His great affection for his odd but brilliant subject shows on every page, giving Dirac the biography any great scientist deserves." (Publishers Weekly)
"A must-read for anyone interested in the extraordinary power of pure thought. With this revelatory, moving and definitive biography, Graham Farmelo provides the first real glimpse inside the bizarre mind of Paul Dirac." (Roger Highfield, Editor, New Scientist)
Fantastic book. It is in a class with Nasar's A Beautiful Mind and Isaacson's Einstein: His Life and Universe. I only wish it when a bit deeper in the math and physics, similar to Derbyshire's Prime Obsession: Bernhard Riemann and the Greatest Unsolved Problem in Mathematics. Very listenable narrator. I enjoyed his impersonation of Dirac.
I am listening to The Strangest Man The Hidden Life of Paul Direc and enjoying it very much BUT the reader makes a critical error at 6:25 into the first part. He adds "not" to a sentence describing Dirac's most important equation, the work for which he received the Nobel prize. One of the outstanding features is that the equation predicts the electron's spin. But the reader says "these properties could NOT have been predicted using the special theory of relativity and quantum mechanics." I check the book and the NOT is not in the text. Audible needs to correct this error as the mispeaking misrepresents both science and Dirac's most impressive work.
I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
Well written and particularly well read. Enjoyable and interesting if you like the history of physics. If the history of physics is not already your thing, you may not find this an exciting volume. I really enjoyed it but would not likely listen again.
I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would. It was a little long, but in general, I enjoyed it a lot and learned about quantum physics--a subject I previously had no interest in.
I had no idea that Dirac was at Tallahassee and we've both enjoyed boating on the Wakulla River.
The narrator was good in some ways, but his "voice" of Dirac was too effeminate and odd. While Dirac was "strange," I didn't get the notion that would have been his voice.
I felt like I was reading an adventure novel rather than a biography. The book is well written and flows nicely, packed with good physics, and fun characterization.
The naration was great too.
An unusual biography I found hard to put down. Especially enjoyed accounts of the interactions between the main characters in the quantum game. I've recommended the work to quite a few people and will continue to do so.
Thought the reader was quite good, but he ought to have sought help with the pronunciation of the names of certain persons and places. One of his worst was Caius College at Cambridge.
At first, I didn't think I would enjoy listening to the biography of a physicist, the subject alone seems daunting. But the author did a great job describing science in the simplest form that even a 5th grader could understand. I learned a lot from this book and highly recommend it to everyone.
College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.
of a lesser-written-about genius of quantum mechanics theory. Like Einstein, Goedel, Oppenheimer, Feynmann and others, Durac was an oddity, which often led to aggrivation, misunderstanding and inadvertantly humorous situations when he tried--mostly unsuccessfully to deal with other humans. If you are interested in physics or just want to add another name to your "famous people with Asperger's" list, this book is entertaining and enlightening.
I agree with several other reviews - enjoyed this listen since the material was strong enough, held my interest, despite the poor narration. Someone, please instruct the narrator regarding pronunciation of the word "experiment". Since listening, the word "expirimint" is still ringing in my ears.
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.
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