Wolfgang Paul Biography
Birthday: August 10, 1913 (Leo)
Born In: Lorenzkirch, Saxony, German Empire
Wolfgang Paul was a German physicist who shared one-half of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1989 with the German-born American physicist Hans G. Dehmelt. The other half of the prize was awarded to the American physicist Norman F. Ramsey. Paul received his share of the prize for his development of the Paul trap—an electromagnetic device that captures ions (electrically charged atoms) and holds them long enough for their properties to be accurately measured. His father was a professor of pharmaceutic chemistry, so Paul became familiar with the life of a scientist in a chemical laboratory quite early. Both his parents were in favor of humanistic education and Paul’s interest in science was awakened very early. After finishing the gymnasium in Munich with 9 years of Latin and 6 years of ancient Greek, history and philosophy, he decided to become a physicist. All through his student years he had very inspiring teachers who had a strong influence on his scientific thinking. His doctoral thesis was interrupted as the World War II was beginning and he was incorporated into the air force. Along with being a professor at the Bonn University for a long period he served as a member of many scientific committees in Germany and abroad.