Dirac Lectures

The annual Dirac Lecture was established jointly by St John's College and the University of Cambridge's Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics. Paul Dirac came to St John’s in 1923 to read for a PhD in Mathematical Physics, and was a Fellow of the College until his death in 1984. He made valuable contributions to the early development of quantum mechanics and quantum electrodynamics, and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1933 jointly with Erwin Schrödinger “for the discovery of new productive forms of atomic theory.” The lectures are usually held in May.

    2023 - Professor John Preskill, Learning in a Quantum World
    2022 - Professor Juan Maldacena, The Entropy of Hawking Radiation.
    2019 - Professor Dam Thanh Son, From fractional quantum Hall effect to field-theoretic dualities
    2018 - Professor Nathan Seiberg, Symmetries, Duality, and the Unity of Physics
    2017 - Professor Helen Quinn, Antimatter: Dirac's incredible prediction and its consequences
    2016 - Professor Michael Green, Too beautiful to be false
    2015 - Professor Sir Michael Atiyah, What is an Electron?
    2014 - Professor Peter Goddard, Paul Dirac and the Development of Quantum Theory
    2013 - Professor François Englert, The Brout-Englert-Higgs mechanism and its scalar boson
    2012 - Professor John Ellis, Is the end of the Standard Model nigh?
    2011 - Professor Ludwig Faddeev, The Nature of True Mathematical Physics
    2010 - Professor Leo P. Kadanoff, Phase Transitions: Scaling, Universality and Renormalization
    2009 - Professor Alexander Polyakov, From Plato to Quarks and Back
    2008 - Professor Frank Wilczek, New Kinds of Quantum Statistics
    2007 - Professor Michael Berry, Hamilton's Diabolical Symmetry
    2006 - Professor Jeffrey Goldstone, Broken Symmetry
    2005 - Professor Ashoke Sen, Black Holes and the Spectrum of String Theory
    2004 - Professor David Olive, The Eternal Magnetic Monople
    2003 - Professor Freeman Dyson, Reasons why Planets may not the best places to look for Life
    2002 - Monica Dirac, My Father
    2002 - Edward Witten, The Search for Supersymmetry
    2002 - Michael Atiyah, The Mystery of Spin
    2002 - Professor Stephen Hawking, Gödel and the end of Physics

    2002 - Professor Peter Goddard, Beauty in the Equations: Aspects of Dirac's Life and Work
    2001 - Cancelled
    2000 - Professor Tom Kibble, Cosmology in the Laboratory
    1999 - Professor David Gross, From QED to QCD
    1998 - Professor Bruno Zumino, Supersymmetry and the Dirac Monopole
    1997 - Gerard t'Hooft, The dark side of Black Holes and Elementary Particle Physics
    1995 - Professor Abraham Pais, Paul Dirac: Aspects of his life and work
    1995 - Professor Kip Thorne, General Relativity: Looking to the Future
    1994 - Professor Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, Soft Interfaces
    1993 - Professor Sidney Coleman, Quantum Mechanics with the gloves off
    1992 - Professor Rudolf Peierls, Broken Symmetries
    1991- Professor Edward Witten, Quantum Gravity in Various Dimensions
    1990 - Professor Murray Gell-Mann, Simplicity and Complexity
    1988 - Professor John Bell, First and Second Class Difficulties in Quantum Mechanics
    1988 - Professor Abdus Salam, Unification of Fundemental Forces
    1986 - Professor Steven Weinberg, Towards the Final Laws of Physics
    1986 - Professor Richard Feynman, The reason for antiparticles on Google video