Definition of Pauli exclusion principle in English:

Pauli exclusion principle

(also Pauli's exclusion principle)


  • The assertion that no two fermions can have the same quantum number.

    • ‘That's a more precise statement of the Pauli exclusion principle.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There are so many unoccupied electron states in metals that an electron can wander freely without being limited by the Pauli exclusion principle.’


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


Pauli exclusion principle