P A M Dirac at Princeton ball

Paul Dirac spent the academic year 1934-35 at Princeton. Anna Adelaide Stafford Henriques (1905-2004) had been awarded a doctorate in 1933 and spent two years at Princeton where she taught in the mornings at a private high school, and in the afternoons she studied at the Institute for Advanced Study. Anna described attending a ball at Princeton:

Every year Mrs Alexander and Mrs von Neumann threw a party, an absolutely fantastic party, at the Alexander's house, which had a ballroom. There were hardly any women guests, maybe six women to twenty men - you should go to a ball like that! A great big tall thin man asked me to dance, and we waltzed all over the room. Shamelessly. Just had the best waltz you ever had in your life. It was absolute motion. He didn't talk. During an intermission, friends asked if I knew who that was. And I said no - I guess I'd been introduced, but all I knew was he had a lot of initials. It was a most fantastic dance - I still have those shoes!
Her partner was P A M Dirac.


JOC/EFR February 2017

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