Continua Dirac, comenzando el fin de su relato:
Those were the early days in which the basis for quantum mechanics was established. The foundations were laid for a theory, which has been found to be very good theory for explaining all atomic events even when one does not inquire into phenomena involving distances which are too small or energies which are too high. When one proceeds farther along these lines, one steps into new difficulties and one feels that the basic ideas necessary to escape from these difficulties have not yet been obtained.
No lo menciona directamente, pero Dirac parece referirse a los problemas de los infinitos en el desarrollo de la teoría.
The work that has been done since the establishment of these basic ideas has been important work, but not quite the same fundamental standard. People have been working out the consequences of the early ideas and examining how far they will go before the difficulties become serious. The difficulties stem from the fact that the interaction between intermediary particles and fields is really too violent for a satisfactory theory to be set up. One has to adopt all sort of tricks to make the theory go farther. One has to set up theories which are more or less patch work and do not have a fundamental basis.
Supongo que uno de los trucos a los que se refiere es la renormalización, ver
The present-day situation is that we still have these fundamental difficulties. It would need someone like a new Heisenberg to find the escape from them. The experimental people are making steady progress quite underterred by theoretical difficulties. They go on accumulating their evidence and challenging the theoretical physicists to produce theories which will fit it. The trouble here is that the experiments are extremely expensive but, in spite of that, experimental work is stimulated by national rivalry and work is going ahead in various centers.
Recordemos que este discurso de aceptación del premio Oppenheimer fue escrito en 1971. En el próximo post alcanzamos el final del texto.
Angel "Java" Lopez