In 1928 the British physicist Paul Dirac came up with an equation that demanded the fantastical from nature. Among other things, it demanded antimatter, and it was the first theory to account fully for special relativity. In Physics, the Dirac equation counts as level with what Einstein and Newton thought of.

An example of simulated data modelled for the ...
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Mark tried to explain the beauty of the Dirac equation, and while the implication go far over my head there was one thing I noted about his passion for it. It was as if he had discovered a new work of art. Mark often tend to think of maths in an aesthetic sense anyway, so he was okay with the analogy.

In fact, he expressed annoyance that some people could not see the aesthetics of maths and science. When Leon Lederman wrote his “The God Particle: If the Universe is the Answer, What is the Question” in 1993 he inadvertently gave the Higgs Boson its stubborn nickname of ‘the god particle’. Many people have fretted over that, and complained when media keep using it.

Mark tried to explain that when you noticed the underlying symmetries of nature through maths, that was an aesthetic experience that gave him goose bumps sometime. Like, when he first tried to work with Dirac’s equation. He claims he doesn’t understand half of its implications, but that he’s determined to find out its limits. So, in a sense he’s going to do what every other artist does; search for the boundaries, and try to step over them.

His annoyance with people who can’t get the goosebumps is because it would be a sad eulogy for modern science if it revealed wonders, but that people were too numb emotionally to appreciate their beauty. I have tried to say this before, but I truly think that there’s less of a separation between arts and science than we think. In fact, when you scratch the surface, the two fields are remarkably alike.

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