Pauli, Wolfgang


Pauli, Wolfgang

biographical name

(born April 25, 1900, Vienna, Austria—died Dec. 15, 1958, Zürich, Switz.) Austrian-born U.S. physicist. At the age of 20, he wrote a 200-page encyclopaedia article on the theory of relativity. He taught physics in Zürich (1928–40) and later at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J. In 1924 he proposed that a spin quantum number, + or , is necessary to specify electron energy states. In 1930 he proposed that the energy and momentum apparently lost when an electron is emitted from an atomic nucleus in beta decay is carried away by an almost massless, uncharged, and difficult-to-detect particle (the neutrino). He was awarded a 1945 Nobel Prize for his 1925 discovery of the Pauli exclusion principle.

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