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Francisco Duarte

One evening, the 1st week of December, 1992, in Houston, Texas, I had the good fortune of having a long conversation with Willis E. Lamb on the subject of quantum measurements. We had been introduced by Marlan Scully and, at the time, I had initiated an N-slit laser interferometric measurement program back at the Research Laboratories of Eastman Kodak, in Rochester, NY. Quantum measurements was a favorite subject of his. I had been introduced to quantum physics via Dirac’s notation by John C. Ward, a friend of Lamb’s. Thus, towards the end of our conversation the topic drifted towards Dirac and somehow the subject of the monopole came up. Dirac had passed away a few years earlier and I said something along the lines… “It is a pity that Dirac went away not knowing if he was right… or wrong.” Lamb looked back at me with a spark in his eyes, smiled, and replied… “He knows… he knows.” Back at Rochester, about a week later, I received a two page letter from Lamb together with a few of his reprints on the subject. His letter was almost a technical summary of our conversation and included a number of valuable teachings and suggestions.

Credit: Francisco J. Duarte