# nLab Paul Dirac

## Writings

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

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

Last revised on December 23, 2017 at 17:52:39. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.