Paul Dirac


  • Paul Dirac, The mathematical foundations of quantum theory, pages 1-8 in A. R. Marlow (ed.) Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Theory, Ac. Press 1978

On mathematical physics:

One should keep the need for a sound mathematical basis dominating one’s search for a new theory. Any physical or philosophical ideas that one has must be adjusted to fit the mathematics. Not the way round.

Too many physicists are inclined to start from some preconceived physical ideas and then to try to develop them and find a mathematical scheme that incorporates them. Such a line of attack is unlikely to lead to success. One runs into difficulties and finds no reasonable way out of them. One ought then to realize that one’s whole line of approach is wrong and to seek a new starting point with a sound mathematical basis.

(Dirac 78)

category: people

Revised on December 23, 2017 17:52:39 by Urs Schreiber (