Born: 25 April 1900, Vienna, Austria
Died: 15 December 1958, Zurich, Switzerland
Affiliation at the time of the award: Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA
Prize motivation: "for the discovery of the Exclusion Principle, also called the Pauli Principle"
Field: quantum mechanics
Prize share: 1/1
In Niels Bohr's model of the atom electrons move in fixed orbits around the nucleus. In developing the model, electrons were given certain quantum numbers corresponding to distinct states of energy and movement. In 1925 Wolfgang Pauli introduced two new quantum numbers and formulated the so called Pauli principle, stating that any two electrons in an atom can not have identical sets of quantum numbers. Also protons and neutrons in the nucleus were given quantum numbers. The principle also applies to nuclei.