Pierre Curie, French physicist

Pierre Curie, French physicist

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Credit: AMERICAN PHILOSOPHICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Pierre Curie (1859-1906), French physicist. Curie studied at the Sorbonne in Paris, where he subsequently became an assistant teacher. With his brother Jacques Curie he discovered the piezoelectric effect in crystals. In 1895 he married Polish-French physicist Marie Sklodowska (1867-1934) and together they embarked on joint research into the newly discovered phenomenon of radioactivity. Although sometimes dangerous, their work was highly successful and they discovered two new elements: polonium and radium. They and Becquerel were awarded the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics for this work. Pierre Curie died three years later in a road accident.

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