Thread: James Blish
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Old July 11 2012, 02:31 PM   #11
Christopher
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Re: James Blish

KingDaniel wrote: View Post
I really enjoyed "Spock Must Die!" and I loved Blish's reference to the transporter using DIRAC technology (from his short story of the same name)
Dirac isn't an acronym. Blish was referring to physicist Paul Dirac, one of the pioneers of quantum mechanics -- he's literally the man who wrote the book on the subject. What Blish called a Dirac jump in SMD! was basically what's known as a "quantum leap," and the instantaneous "Dirac communicator" used in much of Blish's work was basically a quantum-entanglement device (much the same sort of thing that Ursula LeGuin's term "ansible" is often applied to). Blish was basically using Dirac's name as a metonym for quantum theory.
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