Paul Dirac and Instant Wit

2008-10-18, , Comments

Bath Ales

Gail and I attended a fund-raising event organised by the parents’ association at Bishop Road School. It’s a large junior school — over 600 pupils — and we were in the lower school hall. They’d laid on

  • food (✓ vg)
  • a bar (✓ barrel of Bath Gem)
  • an improvised comedy act, Instant Wit (✘ must try harder).

Maybe I’m being unfair on Instant Wit. They certainly knew what they were doing. It just didn’t include making me laugh.

Paul Dirac

Here’s what did make an impression on me: up on the wall a plaque noted that Nobel Laureate scientist Paul Dirac attended the school just under 100 years ago. Dirac is best known for quantum mechanics, a subject I studied during my maths degree which blends probability, group theory and thinking outside the box in order to describe the behaviour of sub-atomic particles. Sitting there as the show rumbled on I imagined Paul Dirac, Bristol school boy, sitting in this very same hall.

Instant Wit graphic