International conferences of physicists

Wolfgang Pauli, Werner Heisenberg and Enrico Fermi at Lake Como, September 1927

At the two international conferences of physicists held in Como and Brussels, the latest findings on "solving the quantum puzzle" were presented in public for the first time. Pauli was very keen to take an active part in both conferences

Conference marking the centenary of the death of Alessandro Volta

An international conference of physicists was held in Como from 11 to 20 September to mark the centenary of the death of Alessandro Volta. Niels Bohr presented his idea on complementarity to an illustrious gathering. During the discussions, Max Born, Hendrik Kramers, Werner Heisenberg, Enrico Fermi and Wolfgang Pauli commented on his paper.

Solvay conference in Brussels

Participants at the fifth Solvay conference in Brussels 1927

Shortly afterwards, the fifth Solvay conference took place in Brussels from 24 to 29 October 1927, to which Pauli was invited for the first time. This conference was notable for clashes between Bohr and Einstein over the "Copenhagen interpretation" of the quantum theory. The young Pauli's many contributions to the discussions showed his self-confidence and the hold he had since gained in the scientific community. As Werner Heisenberg said:

"The discussions between Bohr and Einstein dominated the conference. Though Einstein could not be convinced that the new interpretation of quantum theory was satisfactory in all respects, he ultimately had to admit that it was self-consistent and free from contradictions. Pauli also contributed decisively to the results of this conference, at which he frequently rose to speak."