Chemistry

Pauli


Wolfgang Ernest Pauli was born in Vienna, Austria, on April 25, 1900. He was an important physicist and worked on the theory of electron spin. Son of Wolfgang Joseph Pauli and Berta Camilla Schutz.

He studied at the Doblinger Gymnasium in Vienna, graduating with honor in 1918. Two months later he published his first scientific essay on Albert Einstein's Theory of General Relativity.

He received his doctorate in 1921 at the Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich. Worked with Arnold Sommerfeld. His thesis was about the quantum theory of the ionized hydrogen molecule. Sommerfeld proposed to Pauli the revision of the relativity part. After receiving the doctorate, about two months, Pauli completed the article with another 237 pages and was highly praised by Einstein. The work was published as a monograph and is still a reference on the subject.

He worked a year at Gottingen University as an assistant to Max Born. At the University of Hamburg, he was from 1923 to 1928 as a lecturer. It was at this time that he developed his work on modern quantum mechanics. He formulated the Exclusion Principle and the theory of spins.

In 1929 Pauli ceased to be a Catholic and in the same year married Kathe Margarethe Deppner. In less than a year, they divorced. In 1931, he began consulting with psychiatrist and psychotherapist Carl Jung and began interpreting his dreams and became one of the best students of psychiatry.

In 1928, he was appointed professor of theoretical physics at the Zurich Institute of Technology, Switzerland. Maintained contact with professors at the University of Michigan in 1931 and the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton in 1935.

In 1934, he married Francisca Bertram. He became a German citizen in 1938 and because of World War II went to the United States in 1940. He was professor of theoretical physics at Princeton. With the end of the war in 1945, he returned to Zurich.

In 1945 he received the Nobel Prize in Physics for discovering the Pauli Exclusion Principle. It was nominated for the award by Einstein. In 1958, receives the Max Planck Medal.

That same year discovered a pancreatic cancer. When his last assistant, Charles Enz, came to visit him at the hospital, Pauli asked, “Did you see my room number?” It was 137. For his life, Pauli showed concern that the fine structure constant, a dimensionless constant, with value close to 1/137.

Pauli died in that room on December 15, 1958.