- Joliot-Curie , Irène
- (1897–1956) French physicistIrène Curie was born in Paris, the daughter of Pierre and Marie Curie, the discoverers of radium. She received little formal schooling, attending instead informal classes where she was taught physics by her mother, mathematics by Paul Langevin, and chemistry by Jean Baptiste Perrin. She later attended the Sorbonne although she first served as a radiologist at the front during World War I. In 1921 she began work at her mother's Radium Institute with which she maintained her connection for the rest of her life, becoming its director in 1946. She was also, from 1937, a professor at the Sorbonne.In 1926 Irène Curie married Frédéric Joliot and took the name Joliot-Curie. As in so many other things she followed her mother in being awarded the Nobel Prize for distinguished work done in collaboration with her husband. Thus in 1935 the Joliot-Curies won the chemistry prize for their discovery in 1934 of artificial radioactivity.Irène later almost anticipated Otto Hahn's discovery of nuclear fission but like many other physicists at that time found it too difficult to accept the simple hypothesis that heavy elements like uranium could split into lighter elements when bombarded with neutrons. Instead she tried to find heavier elements produced by the decay of uranium.Like her mother, Irène Joliot-Curie produced a further generation of scientists. Her daughter, Hélène, married the son of Marie Curie's old companion, Paul Langevin, and, together with her brother, Paul, became a distinguished physicist.
Scientists. Academic. 2011.