I hardly met Dirac; he was giving a talk at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, in maybe 1962, on the rather unpromising subject of a classical cloud-model of the electron. The crowd of listeners being very large, and the day a sunny, if windy one, we all moved out onto the lawn at the Institute, and a blackboard was placed on an easel for his use. Dirac started by saying that the infinities of quantum electrodynamics were due to quantising the point electron, which had singularities even in classical electrodymanics; he therefore had been studying the classical dynamics of an oval shaped cloud of charge, using the Maxwell-Lorentz theory. He had not got very far when a breeze caught the blackboard and blew it onto Dirac's back (he was facing the audience). To our shock, the weight of the board flattened Dirac onto the grass, and it seemed to me to be ages before another physicist, maybe Oppenheimer, ran to rescue him.
Soon after this, Dirac produced his paper, "quantum electrodynamics without dead wood", whose title might have been inspired by Dirac's hobby during his stay at the Institute, which was taking an axe to the untidy trees in the woods around about.
There are many links to Dirac; see for example, his Nobel prize.
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© by Ray Streater, 13/4/00.