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Wolfgang Paul

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This person won a Nobel Prize
Wolfgang Paul
Born(1913-08-10)10 August 1913
Lorenzkirch, Saxony, German Empire
Died7 December 1993(1993-12-07) (aged 80)
Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
InstitutionsUniversity of Bonn
University of Kiel
Alma materTechnical University of Munich
Technical University of Berlin
University of Göttingen
Doctoral advisorHans Kopfermann
Known forIon traps
Notable awardsNobel Prize in physics (1989)
Dirac Medal (1992)
He humorously referred to Wolfgang Pauli as his "imaginary part".[1]

Wolfgang Paul (born in Lorenzkirch, Germany 1913 - Bonn 1993) was a German professor awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1989.


Paul was born on August 10 of 1913 in the German city of Lorenzkirch, Saxony. When he was young, his family moved to Munich, where his father taught pharmaceutical chemistry at the University of Munich. In 1932, he began his studies of physics at the Superior School in Munich, and soon moved to the 1934 at the headquarters of Berlin, getting his doctorate in 1939.

In 1944, he began his teaching at the University of Göttingen and 1952 was hired at the University of Bonn as director of its Institute of Experimental Physics, a position he kept until his death.

Wolfgang Paul died December 7 of 1993 at his residence in Bonn.

Scientific research

During WWII he investigated the separation of isotopes, which is necessary to produce material to make nuclear fission for use in nuclear weapons.

He started his research into ions, developing the so-called ion trap.

For this discovery, in 1989 he was awarded half of the Nobel Prize in Physics, shared with Hans G. Dehmelt.

Between 1965 and 1967, he was appointed Director of the Division of Nuclear Physics at CERN.


  1. Gerald E. Brown and Chang-Hwan Lee (2006): Hans Bethe and His Physics, World Scientific,

    Template-specific style sheet:

    ISBN 981-256-610-4, p. 338