Thursday, December 6, 2012

Died This Day: Wolfgang Paul

Paul (Aug. 10, 1913 - Dec. 6, 1993) was a German physicist who developed the electromagnetic Paul trap in the 1950's to capture ions and holds them long enough for study and precise measurement of their properties.

The device consists of three electrodes - two end caps and an encircling ring. The ring is connected to an oscillating potential. The direction of the electric field alternates; for half the time the electron is pushed from the caps to the ring and for the other half it is pulled from the ring and pushed towards the caps.

The Metal Men & The Atom © DC Comics
For his work he shared the 1989 Nobel Prize for Physics with Hans Georg Dehmelt and Norman F. Ramsey. From Today In Science History