Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Found poetry - words of Dirac

The epigraph for Richard Bready's "Times of Sand" (a stanza of which I posted a few days ago on 21 February) is a quote from British physicist Paul Dirac (1902-1984, founder of quantum theory).  This quote reminded me how often we find poetry within well-written prose -- and I have gone to WikiQuotes and found more poetic words from Dirac:

       If you are 
       and humble, 

       will lead you 
       by the hand. 
                    In science one tries to tell people,
                    in such a way as to be understood 
                                                   by everyone, 
                    something that no one ever knew 
                    before. But in the case of poetry,
                                   it's the exact opposite!

 Does Dirac mean (above) that poets 
speak of things everyone knows
in language understood by no one?

I think it’s a peculiarity of myself 
that I like to play about with equations, 
just looking for beautiful mathematical relations 
which maybe don’t have any physical meaning at all. 
Sometimes they do. 

Dirac's words express thoughtfully the viewpoints of many 20th century mathematicians and scientists..  For more quotable lines from and about him, follow this link.

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