The Austrian theoretical physicist Wolfgang Ernst Pauli, b. Apr. 25, 1900, d. Dec. 15, 1958, was one of the founders of modern physics. He is most famous for his "Pauli exclusion principle," which states that no two electrons in an atom can have the same four quantum numbers. For his work in this area he was awarded the 1945 Nobel Prize for physics.
While an undergraduate student in physics at Munich, Pauli wrote a comprehensive article on the theory of relativity that became the classic treatment of the subject. In 1924 he proposed a new quantum number (related to spin) for electrons, and the following year he enunciated the exclusion principle. In 1928, Pauli was named professor of theoretical physics at the Zurich Technical University, where, in 1931, he predicted that conservation laws demanded the existence of a particle later found, the neutrino. After being at Princeton University during World War II, Pauli became a U.S. citizen, but he spent his last years in Zurich.
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