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Pauli effect

The Pauli Effect refers the mysterious failure of technical equipment in the presence of certain people, particularly theoretical physicists. It is named after the famous theoretical physicist Wolfgang Pauli.

Since the 20th century, the work of physics research has been divided between "theorists" and "experimentalists" (see scientific method). Only a few physicists, such as Fermi, have been successful in both roles. Lacking skill and experience in experimental work, many theorists have earned a reputation for accidentally breaking experimental equipment.

Pauli was exceptional in this regard; it was said that he was such a good theorist that any experiments would self-destruct simply due to his presence. For fear of the Pauli Effect, the German-American experimental physicist Otto Stern[?] banned Pauli from his laboratory, despite their friendship.

The Pauli Effect is a humorous invention; it is not to be confused with the Pauli exclusion principle, which is a bona fide physical phenomenon.

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