Dirac: 1975, New Zealand (h/t to +Igor Khavkine) Dirac Lecture 1 (of 4) - Quantum MechanicsDirac Lecture 2 (of 4) - Quantum ElectrodynamicsDirac Lecture 3 (of 4) - Magnetic MonopolesDirac Lecture 4 (of 4) - Does 'G' vary? (Large Numbers Hypothesis)
These look like a total treasure. I've never heard Dirac's voice before, which is awesome by itself, but these also appear to be great lectures as well from what Ive seen so far. Take a listen to this giant of physics and co-father of quantum mechanics...
Funny, there is so much fuzz and distortion in the first minutes of the lecture they seem to give it a kind of 'quantum' feel. ;]
I also really like Dirac for being one of the earliest champions of the theorists's perspective
(for lack of a better name) that I subscribe to, and whose best modern day proponent is Nima Arkani-Hamed. Dirac said things like:The most powerful method of advance [is] to perfect and generalize the mathematical formalism that forms the existing basis of theoretical physics.
And:One must be prepared to follow up the consequences of theory, and feel that one just has to accept the consequences no matter where they lead.
(As quoted from http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/0304042
There is a great bit in this lecture (starting around 17:00
) about his efforts to try to understand the non-commutation of quantum operators, and how this hinged on identifying the appropriate concept from classical
mechanics, the Poisson bracket. Just like Nima loves to talk about, this is a great example of the major hint for the next layer of understanding lying right there in the existing framework.
Dirac made enormous contributions to the understanding of quantum mechanics, including the very language we use to describe it. He generalized the simple bosonic wave equation, the Klein-Gordon equation, to a fermionic version, the Dirac equation, which predicted antimatter. And his monopole quantization condition plays a key role in grand unified theories, the topological aspects of gauge theories, and their confinement, and might well explain the quantization of charges we observe in the universe. And the list could be significantly elaborated...