Honours

Award of honorary doctorate in Hamburg, 1958

That Wolfgang Pauli found recognition for his services in the scientific world is shown in the honours bestowed on him, including many invitations to appear as guest lecturer around the world.

  • From 1927 Pauli regularly received invitations to take part in Solvay conferences in Brussels.
  • In 1931 he was awarded the Lorentz Medal. On this occasion Paul Ehrenfest gave a remarkable laudatory speech.
  • The Nobel Prize followed in 1945. Pauli later spoke movingly of the memorable celebration in Princeton with Albert Einstein's address.
  • In 1955 Pauli received the honour of presiding over the conference in Bern to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the theory of relativity.
  • In April 1958 Wolfgang Pauli was awarded the German Physics Association's Max Planck Medal in Berlin. Its first holders, besides Max Planck himself, were Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr (external link) and Arnold Sommerfeld (external link), all formative in Wolfgang Pauli's scientific career.
Wolfgang Pauli on Lake Geneva, October 1958

In recognition of his services, the School Council of ETH Zurich granted Wolfgang Pauli a salary increase effective from 1 January 1959. But on 5 December 1958 he had to break off a lecture because of violent pains. The next day he was taken to hospital, where he died on 15 December 1958.