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Wolfgang Paul

Wolfgang PaulBorn: 10-Aug-1913
Birthplace: Lorenzkirch, Germany
Died: 6-Dec-1993
Location of death: Bonn, Germany
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Religion: Lutheran
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Physicist

Nationality: Germany
Executive summary: Co-Inventor of the ion trap

German physicist Wolfgang Paul invented the Paul trap, a device that made possible the detailed study of subatomic particles by trapping individual ions for extended observation. A Paul trap is similar to Hans G. Dehmelt's Penning trap, but is based on somewhat different principles. It features two electrical plates or end caps, with a circular electrode between, which traps particles in its electrical field, but isolates these trapped ions and electrons from temperature, pressure, and other outside influences. The device's trapping mechanism made possible the development of atomic clocks, and has proven valuable in the study of atomic structures. With Dehmelt and Norman F. Ramsey, Paul won the Nobel Prize in 1989.

Not to be confused with Wolfgang Pauli, an earlier Nobel laureate in Physics.

Father: Theodor Paul (professor of chemistry, d. 1928)
Mother: Elisabeth Ruppel
Wife: Liselotte Hirsche (m. for 36 years, d.)
Daughter: Jutta (art historian)
Daughter: Regine (pharmacist)
Son: Lorenz (physicist at University of Wuppertal)
Son: Stephan (physicist at TU-Munich)
Wife: Doris Walch-Paul (literature profesor at University of Bonn, m. 1979)

    University: Technical University of Munich (attended, 1932-34)
    University: BS, Technical University of Berlin (1937)
    University: PhD Physics, Technical University of Berlin (1940)
    Teacher: Physics, University of Kiel (1940-44)
    Lecturer: Physics, University of Göttingen (1944-50)
    Professor: Physics, University of Göttingen (1950-52)
    Professor: Physics, University of Bonn (1952-81)
    Administrator: Institute of Physics, University of Bonn (1952-81)

    Nobel Prize for Physics 1989 (with Hans G. Dehmelt and Norman F. Ramsey)
    Alexander von Humboldt Foundation President (1979-89)
    CERN Director of Nuclear Physics (1964-67)
    German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina


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