Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Paul Ehrenfest (January 18, 1880 – September 25, 1933) was an Austrian physicist and mathematician from Vienna. He was born to a poor Jewish family. He suffered from poor health as a child and had a bad time at school, suffering from anti-Semitic comments from his peers. His parents too suffered from ill health, his mother dying when he was ten and his father when he was sixteen. He studied at the Technische Hochschule in Vienna, where his childhood hatred of school was replaced by a newfound love for mathematics and physics. He spent five years in St Petersburg before being offered a professorship at the University of Leiden, where he remained for the rest of his career. He was renowned for his clear teaching style.
He made major contributions to quantum physics, including the theory of phase transition.
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