13 October 2016

Physics’s Fallible Pope

The science journal Nature has now published Graham’s review of the new biography of Enrico Fermi by Gino Segrè and Bettina Hoerlin.

Enrico Fermi
Enrico Fermi

Graham says: ‘this piece contains an anecdote given to me by Fermi’s daughter Nella when we were discussing him on the phone, in connection with a lecture-play that I was preparing some twenty years ago. So far as I know, it’s the only story about him that features his fascination with Silly Putty.’

07 October 2016

‘The Strangest Man’ published in German

Graham’s biography of the theoretical physicist Paul Dirac has been published in German, with a specially-written foreword that focuses on Dirac’s relationship with Germany and its language. Graham says: ‘I am delighted that the book has been published by Springer in Germany, and hope the translation will make my account of Dirac’s life accessible to new audiences.’ The publication of this new edition, widely welcomed, is due in large part to the initiative of the physicist Ali Sanayei, at the University of Hamburg..

The Strangest Man German Edn
The Strangest Man
Cover of German Edition

Ali reflects on why he wanted to see the book published in German, Dirac’s third language.

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21 May 2016

Remembering Harry Kroto

The chemist Harry Kroto, co-discoverer of buckminsterfullerene, died in East Sussex on 30 April and his funeral took place on 19 May. Graham knew Harry well, and remembers fondly a fine chemist, an inspirational communicator, and a good friend.

Portrait of Harry
Portrait of Harry on the cover of the funeral proceedings

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30 April 2016

Blackett and Beckett lived here

48 Paultons Square, Chelsea, London, was home to the experimental physicist Patrick Blackett and to the playwright Samuel Blackett, albeit at different times. Recently, English Heritage agreed that their residency should be marked by blue plaques, and Graham was invited to speak at the unveiling on the life of Blackett, though he also could not resist praising the achievement of Beckett, one of his favourite playwrights.

Blackett and Beckett plaques
Astronomer Sir Arnold Wolfendale and actress Penelope Wilton unveil the Blackett and Beckett blue plaques

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