In 1928 Pauli became professor of theoretical physics at the Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich. Under his direction the institution became a great centre of research in theoretical physics during the years preceding World War II. In the late 1920s it was observed that when a beta particle (electron) is emitted from an atomic nucleus, there is generally some energy and momentum missing, a grave violation of the laws of conservation. Rather than allow these laws to be discarded, Pauli proposed in 1931 that the missing energy and momentum is carried away from the nucleus by some particle (later named the neutrino by Enrico Fermi) that is uncharged and has little or no mass and had gone unnoticed because it interacts with matter so seldom that it is nearly impossible to detect. The neutrino was finally observed in 1956.
In 1940 Pauli was appointed to the chair of theoretical physics at
the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, N.J., and in 1946 he became
a naturalized citizen of the United States. Following World War II he
returned to Zurich.
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