No time to be brief: A scientific biography of Wolfgang Pauli


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Scully, The Demon and the Quantum , 7. I do not mind if you think slowly. But I do object when you publish more quickly than you think. As quoted, without citation, in William H. I have done a terrible thing: I have postulated a particle that cannot be detected. After postulating the existence of the neutrino, a particle with no mass and no electric charge, in order to balance an equation. Can you help? Physics is very muddled again at the moment; it is much too hard for me anyway, and I wish I were a movie comedian or something like that and had never heard anything about physics.

Letter to R.


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Kronig 21 May Quoted in R. Kronig, 'The Turning Point', in M. Fierz and V. Weisskopf eds. A Memorial Volume to Wolfgang Pauli ,as trans.

Charles P. Enz

Klein, Letters on Wave Mechanics , x. The fact that XY thinks slowly is not serious, but that he publishes faster than he thinks is inexcusable. The kinetic concept of motion in classical theory will have to undergo profound modifications. Letter to Niels Bohr 12 Dec , in K. But I do claim that the unique exceeds the treatment by scientific method. Indeed it is the aim of this method to find and test natural laws. There can never be two or more equivalent electrons in an atom, for which in a strong field the values of all the quantum numbers n, k 1 , k 2 and m are the same.


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Quoted by M. Gillispie ed. Scully, The Demon and the Quantum , It is well known that theoretical physicists cannot handle experimental equipment; it breaks whenever they touch it. Pauli was such a good theoretical physicist that something usually broke in the lab whenever he merely stepped across the threshold. A mysterious event that did not seem at first to be connected with Pauli's presence once occurred in Professor J.

Early one afternoon, without apparent cause, a complicated apparatus for the study of atomic phenomena collapsed.

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You may believe this anecdote or not, but there are many other observations concerning the reality of the Pauli Effect! Note the so-called Pauli Effect is merely anecdotal to provide humor about supposed parapsychology phenomena in coincidences involving Pauli; it should not be confused with scientifically significant Pauli Exclusion Principle.

The Pauli effect was named after the anecdotal bizarre ability of his to break experimental equipment simply by being in the vicinity. Pauli was aware of his reputation and was delighted whenever the Pauli effect manifested. These strange occurrences were in line with his investigations into the legitimacy of parapsychology , particularly his collaboration with C.

Jung on the concept of synchronicity. Regarding physics, Pauli was famously a perfectionist. This extended not just to his own work, but also to the work of his colleagues. As a result, he became known in the physics community as the "conscience of physics," the critic to whom his colleagues were accountable. He could be scathing in his dismissal of any theory he found lacking, often labelling it ganz falsch , utterly wrong.

However, this was not his most severe criticism, which he reserved for theories or theses so unclearly presented as to be untestable or unevaluatable and, thus, not properly belonging within the realm of science , even though posing as such. They were worse than wrong because they could not be proven wrong. Famously, he once said of such an unclear paper: "It is not even wrong!

His supposed remark when meeting another leading physicist, Paul Ehrenfest , illustrates this notion of an arrogant Pauli. The two met at a conference for the first time. Ehrenfest was familiar with Pauli's papers and was quite impressed with them. After a few minutes of conversation, Ehrenfest remarked, "I think I like your Encyclopedia article [on relativity theory] better than I like you," to which Pauli shot back, "That's strange. With me, regarding you, it is just the opposite. Werner Heisenberg [in Physics and Beyond , ] recollects a friendly conversation among young participants at the Solvay Conference , about Einstein and Planck 's views on religion.

Wolfgang Pauli, Heisenberg, and Dirac took part in it. Dirac's contribution was a poignant and clear criticism of the political manipulation of religion, that was much appreciated for its lucidity by Bohr, when Heisenberg reported it to him later. Among other things, Dirac said: "I cannot understand why we idle discussing religion.

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If we are honest — and as scientists honesty is our precise duty — we cannot help but admit that any religion is a pack of false statements, deprived of any real foundation. The very idea of God is a product of human imagination.

Pauli had kept silent, after some initial remarks. But when finally he was asked for his opinion, jokingly he said: "Well, I'd say that also our friend Dirac has got a religion and the first commandment of this religion is 'God does not exist and Paul Dirac is his prophet'". Everybody burst into laughter, including Dirac. Many of Pauli's ideas and results were never published and appeared only in his letters, which were often copied and circulated by their recipients.

The deterioration between them resulted in Heisenberg ignoring Pauli's funeral, and writing in his autobiography that Pauli's criticisms were overwrought. He married again in to Franziska Bertram — They had no children. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the Austrian-Swiss physicist. For the German physicist, see Wolfgang Paul. Vienna , Austria-Hungary. Zurich , Switzerland. Nicholas Kemmer [3] Felix Villars. Ernst Mach Carl Jung [ citation needed ]. His godfather was Ernst Mach. He is not to be confused with Wolfgang Paul , who called Pauli his "imaginary part", [4] a pun with the imaginary unit i.

Archived from the original PDF on 5 March Retrieved 9 January Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. Royal Society. Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary. Retrieved Oxford University Press. At the same time Pauli writes on 11 October to the science historian Shmuel Sambursky whom he had met on his trip to Israel see Ref. Wolfgang shared my concern. His God is somehow involved in the immutable laws of nature. Einstein has a feeling for the central order of things.

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Pauli's Exclusion Principle

He can detect it in the simplicity of natural laws. We may take it that he felt this simplicity very strongly and directly during his discovery of the theory of relativity. Admittedly, this is a far cry from the contents of religion. I don't believe Einstein is tied to any religious tradition, and I rather think the idea of a personal God is entirely foreign to him. Acta Polytechnica Hungarica.

No Time to Be Brief: A Scientific Biography of Wolfgang Pauli

Wolfgang Pauli and the Fine-Structure Constant. Journal of Science. Helvetica Physica Acta. Wolfgang Pauli, A Biographical Introduction. Writings on Physics and Philosophy.

Journal of Consciousness Studies. Archived from the original PDF on Miller 10 Dec University College London. Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.

No time to be brief: A scientific biography of Wolfgang Pauli No time to be brief: A scientific biography of Wolfgang Pauli
No time to be brief: A scientific biography of Wolfgang Pauli No time to be brief: A scientific biography of Wolfgang Pauli
No time to be brief: A scientific biography of Wolfgang Pauli No time to be brief: A scientific biography of Wolfgang Pauli
No time to be brief: A scientific biography of Wolfgang Pauli No time to be brief: A scientific biography of Wolfgang Pauli
No time to be brief: A scientific biography of Wolfgang Pauli No time to be brief: A scientific biography of Wolfgang Pauli
No time to be brief: A scientific biography of Wolfgang Pauli No time to be brief: A scientific biography of Wolfgang Pauli
No time to be brief: A scientific biography of Wolfgang Pauli No time to be brief: A scientific biography of Wolfgang Pauli
No time to be brief: A scientific biography of Wolfgang Pauli No time to be brief: A scientific biography of Wolfgang Pauli
No time to be brief: A scientific biography of Wolfgang Pauli

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