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December 14th marks the passing of Nobel Prize winning Austrian physicist Wolfgang Pauli's birthday. Pauli is best known for the Pauli Exclusion Principle which states no two electrons in an atom can have the same quantum state. Did you know he was rather infamous for the Pauli Effect?

The Pauli Effect would manifest itself by equipment breaking down, vacuum tubes burning out or the power failing mysteriously when Pauli was in the area. Colleagues started to recommend he stay away from the laboratory when important demonstrations or experiments were to be conducted.

I hope your lab equipment doesn't malfunction or break today! Find out what else occurred on this day in science history.

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December 18, 2010 at 8:04 am
(1) Alan Crooks says:

“The Pauli Effect would manifest itself by equipment breaking down, vacuum tubes burning out or the power failing mysteriously when Pauli was in the area.”

Ah, that’s who’s to blame.

Myself and a colleague wre once victims to this effect. We would start off by having ‘one of those dayats’, this would soon become ‘one of those weeks’, and even ‘one of those months’…!

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