Definition of Pauli exclusion principle in English:

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Pauli exclusion principle

Pronunciation: /ˈpaʊli/
(also Pauli's exclusion principle)


The assertion that no two fermions can have the same quantum number.
Example sentences
  • Fermions obey the Pauli exclusion principle, which means that two of them cannot occupy the same quantum state.
  • For electrons, the Pauli exclusion principle paradoxically leads to an effective attraction that balances the particles' electrostatic repulsion at short distances.
  • In addition to electrons, the Pauli exclusion principle applies to all sub-atomic particles with half-integral spins, known as fermions, such as neutrons and protons.


1920s: named after W. Pauli (see Pauli, Wolfgang).

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