He serves three years as director of the Division of Nuclear Physics at CERN.
He is drafted to the German air force a few days before World War II starts.
He finishes the Gymnasium (secondary school) in Munich with 9 years of Latin and 6 years of ancient Greek, history and philosophy.
He decides to become a physicist. Arnold Sommerfeld, a theoretical physicist and colleague of his late father, advises him to begin with an apprenticeship in precision mechanics.
Wolfgang Paul shares the 1989 Nobel Prize in Physics with Norman F. Ramsey and Hans G. Dehmelt “for the development of the ion trap technique”. The trapping mechanism has made possible the development of atomic clocks, and has proven valuable in the study of atomic structures.
In the fall of 1932, he commences his studies at the Technische Hochschule in Munich.
Wolfgang Paul is born in Lorenzkirch, a small village in Saxony, Germany. His father is a professor of chemistry.
After his first examination in 1934, he turns to the Technische Hochschule in Berlin and finishes his Diploma in 1937.
After his PhD, he stays with Kopfermann's group in Kiel.
Paul follows his adviser Hans Kopfermann to the University of Kiel, starting work on his PhD thesis in which he determined the nuclear moments of Beryllium. Jest before the decisive measurements are taken, he is drawn to the air force. Later he is exempted from military service and rejoins the group, finishing his thesis in 1940.
Wolfgang Paul dies in Bonn.
Paul moves to Göttingen with his mentor's group in 1942 and becomes lecturer there in 1944. He works in mass spectrometry and isotope separation, then turns to the scattering experiments with high energy electrons. He participates in the first test measurements at the betatron at the Siemens laboratory. After the war, the accelerator is moved to Göttingen. Due to restrictions imposed by the military government, he turns to radiobiology and cancer therapy by electrons for several years.
In 1952, he is appointed professor at the University of Bonn and Director of the Physics Institute. With his team, he starts new activities: molecular beam physics, mass spectrometry and high energy electron physics. He develops the quadrupole mass spectrometer and the ion trap, for which he is later awarded the Nobel Prize. In later years, his interest turns to neutron physics. He retires in 1981.