Wolfgang Ernst Pauli (1900 – 1958)
Wolfgang Ernst Pauli was an Austrian-American physicist noted for his work on the theory of spin. Biography Pauli was born in Vienna to Wolfgang Joseph Pauli and Berta Camilla Schütz. His middle name was given in honor of his godfather, the physicist Ernst Mach. Pauli attended the Döblinger Gymnasium in Vienna, graduating with distinction in 1918. Only two months after graduation, he had published his first paper, on Einstein's theory of general relativity. He attended the Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich, working under Sommerfeld, where he received his doctorate in July 1921 for a thesis on the quantum theory of ionised molecular hydrogen. Sommerfeld asked Pauli to review relativity for the Encyklopaedie der mathematischen Wissenschaften, a German encyclopedia. Two months after receiving his doctorate, Pauli completed the article, which came to 237 pages. It was praised by Einstein; published as a monograph, it remains a standard reference on the subject to this day. He spent a year at the University of Göttingen as the assistant to Max Born, and the following year at what became the Niels Bohr Institute for Theoretical Physics in Copenhagen. He then spent 1923 to 1928 as a lecturer at the University of Hamburg. During this period, Pauli was instrumental in the development of the modern theory of quantum mechanics. In particular, he formulated the exclusion principle and the theory of nonrelativistic spin. (See below for a list of his scientific contributions.) In May 1929, Pauli left the Roman Catholic Church; in December that year, he married Käthe Margarethe Deppner. The marriage was an unhappy one, ending in divorce in 1930 after less than a year. In 1928, he was appointed Professor of Theoretical Physics at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland. He held visiting professorships at the University of Michigan in 1931, and the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton in 1935. In 1934, he married Franciska Bertram. This marriage would last for the rest of his life. They had no children. The German annexation of Austria in 1938 made him a German citizen, which became a difficulty with the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939. Pauli moved to the United States in 1940, where he was Professor of Theoretical Physics at Princeton. After the end of the war in 1945, he returned to Zurich, where he mostly remained for the rest of his life. Also in 1945, he received the Nobel Prize in Physics for his "decisive contribution through his discovery in 1925 of a new law of Nature, the exclusion principle or Pauli principle." He had been nominated for the prize by Einstein. Pauli died in Zürich.
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