Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Wolfgang Pauli

Wolfgang Pauli, a noted 20th century physicist, was born on this date in 1900 in Vienna. Early in his career he worked with two other prominent physicists of his era- Max Born and Niels Bohr.

As indicated at the linked article:

"Pauli was outstanding among the brilliant mid-twentieth century school of physicists. He was recognized as one of the leaders when, barely out of his teens and still a student, he published a masterly exposition of the theory of relativity. His exclusion principle, which is often quoted bearing his name, crystallized the existing knowledge of atomic structure at the time it was postulated and it led to the recognition of the two-valued variable required to characterize the state of an electron. Pauli was the first to recognize the existence of the neutrino, an uncharged and massless particle which carries off energy in radioactive ß-disintegration; this came at the beginning of a great decade, prior to World War II, for his centre of research in theoretical physics at Zurich."

The colorful comment by Pauli: "This isn't right. This isn't even wrong." has often been quoted.

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