Wolfgang Pauli

April 25, 1900 - December 15, 1958

Life Facts

Place of Birth: Vienna, Austria

Place of Death: Zurich, Switzerland

Education: Pauli graduated from the University of Munich in 1918. He attended the University of Göttingen in 1919, and the Institute for Theoretical Physics in Copenhagen in 1920. He obtained his doctor's degree by 1921.

Major Contributions to Physics: Pauli made major contributions to the theory of the quantum mechanics, deriving his exclusion principle. He also created the theory of nonrelativistic spin as well as added to other significant developments.

Significance

Wolfgang Pauli is best-known for his development of the Pauli Exclusion Principle, a concept of quantum mechanics stating that no two electrons may exist in the same quantum state. He also affirmed Heisenberg’s theory, invented Pauli matrices, proved the spin-statistics theorem, and proposed the possibility of a neutron in the nucleus of an atom. Pauli was known as a perfectionist by his colleagues, which likely influenced his scientific ethic and success. His work has allowed extensive uses of quantum mechanics to broaden its uses in modern technology. Today his influence is felt in the everyday usage of CDs, DVDs, transistor radios, and many more innovations.