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Portrait of the French nuclear chemist Marguerite Catherine Perey (1909-1975). She began her career in 1929 as an assistant in the Radium Institute in Paris under Marie Curie. In 1949 she became professor of nuclear chemistry at the University of Strasbourg and director of the Centre for Nuclear Research in 1958. By the 1930s all the elements in the periodic table below uranium were discovered except for those with atomic numbers 43, 61, 85 and 87. In 1939 Perey discovered the element with atomic number 87 while she was studying the radioactive decay of actinium 227. She originally called it actinium K but in 1945 named it francium (for France).
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