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Irene Joliot-Curie and Frederic Joliot

Irene Joliot-Curie and Frederic Joliot

H410/0033

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SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Frederic Joliot and Irene Joliot-Curie, the French nuclear physicists (1900-1958 and 1897-1956). Irene was the daughter of Pierre and Marie Curie. Having obtained a degree in engineering, Frederic met her while an assistant to Marie Curie. They married in 1926 and began working together on radioactivity in 1931. In 1934, they were rewarded with the discovery of "artificial radioactivity" in an isotope of phosphorus, which earned them the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1935. Frederic's subsequent work on nuclear chain reactions, interrupted by wartime resistance activities, led to the development of an independent French nuclear capability.

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