Dirac’s Refined Unification of Quantum Mechanics and Special Relativity: An Intertheoretic Context

Teorie Vědy / Theory of Science 44 (1):37-57 (2022)
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One of the key episodes of history of modern physics – Paul Dirac’s startling contrivance of the relativistic theory of the electron – is elicited in the context of lucid epistemological model of mature theory change. The peculiar character of Dirac’s synthesis of special relativity and quantum mechanics is revealed by comparison with Einstein’s sophisticated methodology of the General Relativity contrivance. The subtle structure of Dirac’s scientific research program and first and foremost the odd principles that put up its powerful heuristics is scrutinized with special emphasis on the highly controversial tenet of “mathematical beauty.” It is contended that despite the relentless Dirac’s remarks denigrating the controversial role of philosophy one can trace its indirect influence through Arthur Eddington’s and Hermann Weyl’s whimsical mathematical models. Accordingly, the milestones of Dirac’s research programme realization in the distinctive context of the applied epistemological doctrine are indicated.

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Rinat M. Nugayev
Moscow State University


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