Irène Joliot-Curie


Irène Joliot-Curie Harcourt.jpg

Irène Joliot Curie via. Wikipedia

Irène Joliot- Curie was a French scientists. Her parents were Marie Curie and Pierre Curie. She was born in Paris, France on September 12, 1897 and has a younger sister named Ève. Just like her parents, she won a Nobel Prize in chemistry. Her family holds a record of receiving five Nobel prizes in total.

When she was ten years old, her parents saw that she was very talented at math. Since most schools in Paris could not meet her academic standards, her parents along with several others started “The Cooperative” in order to teach their academically advanced children. After two years with the cooperative, Irène attended Collège Sévigné from 1912 to 1914 but stopped her studies due to World War I. Irène along with her mother, Marie, served as nurse radiographers during the war. Because of this they were exposed to a lot of radiation and eventually they would have to pay the consequences.

When the war ended, she returned to Paris to proceed with her studies at the Radium Institute (A.k.a. Curie Institute or Institut Curie en Français) set up by her parents. She wrote her doctoral thesis on the alpha rays of polonium and became a Doctor of Science in 1925.

Irène with her mother, Marie

Irène was in charge of training her mother’s assistant Frédéric Joliot. In 1928, Frédéric and Irène, through their research, found the positron and the neutron but were not able to explain the results of their findings. Later on, the credit of this discovery went to Carl David Anderson, and James Chadwick.

In 1935, Irène and Frédéric Joliot-Curie won the Nobel Prize for chemistry for discovering artificial radioactivity.

Eventually because of the accumulated exposure to radioactive materials, Irène was diagnosed with leukemia and dies on March 17,1956 at the age of 58.