In particle physics, the **Dirac equation** is a relativistic wave equation formulated by British physicist Paul Dirac in 1928. It provided a description of elementary spin-½ particles, such as electrons, consistent with both the principles of quantum mechanics and the theory of special relativity, and was the first theory to fully account for relativity in the context of quantum mechanics. It accounted for the fine details of the hydrogen spectrum in a completely rigorous way. The equation also implied the existence of a new form of matter, *antimatter*, hitherto unsuspected and unobserved, and actually predated its experimental discovery. It also provided a *theoretical* justification for the introduction of several-component wave functions in Pauli's phenomenological theory of spin. Although Dirac did not at first fully appreciate what his own equation was telling him, his resolute faith in the logic of mathematics as a means to physical reasoning, his explanation of spin as a consequence of the union of quantum mechanics and relativity, and the eventual discovery of the positron, represents one of the great triumphs of theoretical physics, fully on a par with the work of Newton, Maxwell, and Einstein before him.

Read more about Dirac Equation: Mathematical Formulation, Physical Interpretation, Hole Theory, Dirac Equation in Curved Spacetime

### Famous quotes containing the word equation:

“A nation fights well in proportion to the amount of men and materials it has. And the other *equation* is that the individual soldier in that army is a more effective soldier the poorer his standard of living has been in the past.”

—Norman Mailer (b. 1923)