Mathematics and Physics Croquis World premiere
24 October 2018
Stephen Hawking died on Albert Einstein’s birthday. When Einstein died, Paul Dirac (1902–1984) was seen crying in public for the first time. Dirac was the youngest recipient of the Nobel Prize in theoretical physics. Hawking held a eulogy upon the occasion of unveiling a memory plaque, right next to Newton’s grave and a stone-throw away from Darwin’s, dedicated to this mysterious and silent man who built a bridge between the theory of relativity and the quantum theory. According to Dirac’s biographer Graham Farmel, the plaque is engraved with one of the most beautiful equations of all times, a true »poem in science«. Namely, Dirac believed that the fundamental theories of physics possess a mathematical beauty, and if they are not beautiful, they must be definitely incorrect.
This string of events was an inspiration for a theatre production called Dirac’s Chord, and serves as its material, as a palimpsest evoking – manifesting – a concrete historic fact – and at the same time immortalizing it, as in generalizing it to the level of the archetypal. Life as solving equations / an equation as solving life is a preposition that can be worked out or/and cannot be worked out. These are the origins of staging of an equation, where we have an approach to the content, the form and the creative manner, which is always arbitrary, relative, and on the other hand, a staging as a series of quantum images, where a superposition is formed by the character of Dirac, the actors, the authors of the production and the viewers with their portion of equations.
Why did Dirac, whose life is known to have been outstanding and ingenious, state towards the end of his life: »No! I have nothing to say. My life has been a failure.« And what does this tell us about ourselves? And, moreover: whence the enigmatic inscription by the actor Boris Cavazza on the final page of a biographical novel Cavazza: »I dreamt that in my dream I awoke from a dream in which I dreamt that I was dreaming about another dream«, which could easily be read as a field of quantum images? In short, what is this thing about passion, what can drive and/or outwit one, if you are a scientist, if you are an artist, if you are