September 12, 1897 – Birth of Iréne Joliot-Curie, shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the synthesis of new radioactive elements

Daughter of Marie Curie (Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903 and in Chemistry in 1911) and Pierre Curie (Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903), she studied physics and mathematics at the Sorbonne University in Paris (France).

During World War I, she stopped studying to work as a radiological nurse helping her mother. In addition, she directed the development of diagnostic X-ray devices at military hospital facilities in Belgium and France for which she was awarded the Military Medal after the war.

In 1918, he becomes his mother's assistant at the Radium Institute (now known as the Curie Institute) in Paris and completes his doctoral thesis on alpha rays from polonium. It is at this time that she meets and marries Frédéric Joliot in 1926 and they take the surname Joliot-Curie.

Together with her husband, she began her research in the field of nuclear physics. They were looking for the structure of the atom and in particular the structure and projection of the nucleus that was fundamental to discover later the neutron (1932) and the positron (1932). In 1934, they managed to artificially produce radioactive elements. This discovery changed the entire periodic table as more than 400 radioisotopes were added.

In 1935, they were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their work on the synthesis of new radioactive elements.

That same year, she was appointed research director of the National Science Foundation and the following year she achieved the position of undersecretary of State for scientific research, but, in 1951, she was removed from the French Atomic Energy Commission for her sympathies with the Party. French communist. She was a member of the National Committee of the Union of French Women and of the Council for World Peace.

They had two children, Hélène, also a well-known physicist (she married Paul Langevin's grandson), and Pierre who studied biochemistry.

In subsequent years, the Joliot-Curies expanded their work with the identification of nuclear fission products and became involved in the debate on the social impact of the use of radioactivity.

If you want more information about this scientist, click on the following link: Iréne Joliot-Curie.

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