Freeman Dyson Responds
Posted by Nicole Tedesco on June 5, 2011
I erred with respect to Professor Freeman Dyson’s involvement with quantum electrodynamics (QED) and with respect to a quote I had previously included by him (http://www.iwise.com/eeQ1E). I had a hunch I was getting something wrong, so I wrote Professor Dyson to ask for clarification. His response,
Thank you for asking whether I agree with your statement. The answer is no. I do not agree, because I was talking about mathematicians and not about physicists. Dirac and Bethe were dealing with quite different problems. They were not concerned with architecture. They were inventing a physical theory. I was using their theory and finding the architecture to tidy up the mathematical details. Yours sincerely, Freeman Dyson.
Of course, it is good to understand Dyson’s role with regard to QED a little more clearly. Second it is, of course, interesting to see his perspective on his role as “architect”. Last, but not least, it made my day to receive a response from a hero of mine!
Thank you, Professor Dyson!