Gabriel Andrew Dirac

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Gabriel Andrew Dirac
Born(1925-03-13)13 March 1925
Died20 July 1984(1984-07-20) (aged 59)
Alma materUniversity of London
Known forGraph theory
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Aarhus, Trinity College Dublin
ThesisOn the Colouring of Graphs: Combinatorial topology of Linear Complexes (1952)
Doctoral advisorRichard Rado

Gabriel Andrew Dirac (13 March 1925 – 20 July 1984) was a Hungarian/British mathematician who mainly worked in graph theory.[1] He served as Erasmus Smith's Professor of Mathematics at Trinity College Dublin 1964-1966.[2] In 1952, he gave a sufficient condition for a graph to contain a Hamiltonian circuit. The previous year, he conjectured that n points in the plane, not all collinear, must span at least two-point lines, where is the largest integer not exceeding . This conjecture was proven true when n is sufficiently large by Green and Tao in 2012.[3]


Dirac started his studies at St John's College, Cambridge in 1942, but by 1942 the war saw him serving in the aircraft industry.[1] He received his MA in 1949, and moved to the University of London, getting his Ph.D. "On the Colouring of Graphs: Combinatorial topology of Linear Complexes" there under Richard Rado.[4]


Dirac's main academic positions were at the King's College London (1948-1954), University of Toronto (1952-1953), University of Vienna (1954-1958), University of Hamburg (1958-1963), Trinity College Dublin (Erasmus Smith's Professor of Mathematics, 1964-1966), University of Wales at Swansea (1967-1970), and Aarhus University (1970-1984).[1]


He was born Balázs Gábor in Budapest, to Richárd Balázs, a military officer and businessman, and Margit "Manci" Wigner (sister of Eugene Wigner).[5] When his mother married Paul Dirac in 1937, he and his sister resettled in England and were formally adopted, changing their family name to Dirac.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Thomassen, Carsten (1985). "Gabriel Andrew Dirac Obituary". Journal of Graph Theory. 9: 303–318. doi:10.1002/jgt.3190090302. Retrieved 1 May 2021.
  2. ^ Webb, D.A. (1992). J.R., Barlett (ed.). Trinity College Dublin Record Volume 1991. Dublin: Trinity College Dublin Press. ISBN 1-871408-07-5.
  3. ^ Green, Ben; Tao, Terence (23 August 2012). "On sets defining few ordinary lines". arXiv:1208.4714 [math.CO].
  4. ^ Gabriel Andrew Dirac at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  5. ^ "Magyar Tudomány. 100 ÉVE SZÜLETETT WIGNER JENÕ 400 ÉVE SZÜLETETT OTTO von GUERICKE" (in Hungarian). DocPlayer. Retrieved 29 January 2022.
  6. ^ O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews