When Feynman met Dirac
“I am Feynman.”
“I am Dirac.”
Beloved late physicist Richard P. Feynman (1918–1988) first met his hero Paul Dirac (1902–1984) during Princeton University’s Bicentennial Celebration in 1946 and then again at least twice, in 1948 and 1962. Most notably, the two came to heads during the so-called Pocono Conference when Feynman gave a lecture on a nascent “Alternative Formulation of Quantum Electrodynamics”, reformulating the theory which had earned Dirac the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1933. A star-studded audience of 28 of the world’s leading physicists attended the conference, including J. Robert Oppenheimer (1904-67), Niels Bohr (1885-1962), Eugene Wigner (1902-95), John von Neumann (1903-57), Enrico Fermi (1901-54), Hans Bethe (1906-2005) and of course, the inventor of the theory himself, Paul Dirac.
Feynman’s reformulation of Dirac’s theory was not well received at Pocono, as Bohr, …