Dirac in 1982

Most of the Goettinger interview with Paul Dirac (1902-1984) from 1982 is about historical developments and about Einsteins relativity etc. Towards the end, there is an interesting statement of Dirac. The questions were asked by Friedrich Hund (1896-1997), a student of Max Born who had Edward Teller (1908-2003) as a doctoral student. By the way, Ingebord Seynsche (1905-1994) the wife of Friedrich Hund was a mathematician too and born in the same year than Ruth Moufang (1905-1977).

Friedrich Hund: (1896-1997)'s interview question "Can I ask you something of the modern development? Now, we hope that perhaps in a short time, we get a unified theory of the particles. Now, we make differences between strong interaction, electromagnetic interaction, weak interaction, gravitation, these four. What are your hopes?"

Paul Dirac: (1902-1984)'s answer "I think that the present methods which theoretical physicists are using are not the correct methods. They use what they call a renormalization technique, which involves handling infinite quantities. And this is not mathematically a logical process. I would say that it is just a set of ``working rules" rather than a correct mathematical theory. I don't like this whole development at all. I think that some other important discoveries will have to be made, before these questions are put into order. In particular, there is the problem explaining the fine structure constant, the number 1/137 which plays an important role in physics and the question is, why should it be 137 instead of not some other number. That has not been explained at all. And I feel that it is necessary to get an explanation of that, before one will make an important advance in understanding atomic theory."