Iren Joliot-Curie: short biography, photo

Joliot-Curie Irene (photo is given further in the article) -the eldest daughter of famous scientists Mary and Pierre Curie, who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1935 for her husband's discovery of artificial radioactivity. Starting her scientific career as a junior research assistant at the Radium Institute in Paris, created by her parents, she soon changed her mother, becoming his scientific adviser. There she met her husband and lifelong scientific partner Frederick Joliot. As a rule, they signed the results of their research with a combination of their surnames.

Joliot-Curie Irene: brief biography

Ирен was born on 12.09.1897 in Paris in the family of Nobel Laureates Maria and Pierre Curie. Her childhood was rather unusual - growing up took place in the company of brilliant scientists. Parents were married in 1895 and dedicated their lives to physics, conducting experiments in their laboratory with radioactivity. Maria Curie was on the verge of opening radium, when little Irene, or "her little queen," as her mother called her daughter, was only a few months old.

The girl grew up by years, but was shychild. She was very possessive about the mother, who was often busy with her experiments. When after a long day in the laboratory the "queen" met her exhausted mother, demanding fruit, Marie turned and went to the market to fulfill her daughter's wish. After the untimely accidental death of her father Pierre in 1908, a great influence on Irene was made by his grandfather along the lines of his father Eugene Curie. He taught the granddaughter of botany and natural history when she spent the summer in the village. Curie Sr. was a kind of political radical and atheist, and it was he who helped shape the leftist moods of Irene and contempt for organized religion.

irin joliot curie

Non-traditional education

Curie education was quite remarkable. Her mother made sure that Iren and her younger sister Eva-Deniz (1904 b.) Daily did physical and mental exercises. The girls had a governess, but because Madame Curie was not satisfied with the available schools, she organized a training cooperative in which the children of the professors of the famous Parisian Sorbonne came to the lab for lessons. Mother Irene taught physics, and her other famous colleagues taught mathematics, chemistry, languages ​​and sculpture. Soon, Irene became the best student with excellent knowledge of physics and chemistry. Two years later, however, when she turned 14, the co-op was curtailed, the girl entered a private school, the College of Sevinya, and soon received a certificate. She spent the summer on the beach or in the mountains, sometimes in the company of celebrities such as Albert Einstein and his son. Then Iren entered the Sorbonne to study for a nurse.

irin joliot curie biography

Work at the front

During the First World, Madame Curie went to the front,where she used new X-ray equipment to treat soldiers. The daughter soon learned how to use the same equipment, worked with her mother, and later on her own. Irene, shy and rather antisocial in character, was calm and unruffled in the face of danger. At the age of 21, she became an assistant mother at the Radium Institute. She has learned to skillfully use the Wilson camera, a device that makes elementary particles visible through the trail of water droplets that they leave along their trajectory.

the history of the Joliot Curie

The beginning of scientific work

In the early 1920s, after a winning tour in the United Stateswith his mother and sister, Irene Curie began to contribute to the laboratory. Working with Fernand Holvek, the Institute's administrative director, she conducted several experiments with radium, the results of which were published in 1921 in her first work. By 1925, she completed her doctoral dissertation on alpha radiation of polonium, an element that her parents discovered. Many colleagues in the laboratory, including her future husband, believed that she looked like her father in her almost instinctive ability to use instruments. Frederic was a few years younger than Irene and had no experience in using scientific equipment. When asked to tell him about radioactivity, she began in a rather rude manner, but soon they began to make long country walks. The couple married in 1926 and decided to use the combined name of Joliot-Curie in honor of her famous parents.

Irene and Frederic Joliot Curie

Fruitful cooperation

The Nobel story of Irene Joliot-Curie and her husbandFrederic began with joint research. They both signed their scientific works even after in 1932 Irene was appointed head of the laboratory. After reading about the experiments of German scientists Walter Bothe and Hans Becker, their attention was focused on nuclear physics - a field of science that was still in its infancy. Only at the turn of the century did scientists find that atoms have a central core consisting of positively charged protons. Outside there are negatively charged electrons. Parents Irene studied radioactivity, a phenomenon that occurs when the nuclei of some elements emit particles or energy. The first are relatively large alpha particles, reminiscent of the nucleus of a helium atom with two positive charges. In his work, awarded the Nobel Prize, the Curie-elders discovered that some radioactive elements emit particles on a regular, predictable basis.

irin joliot curie children

Nuclear fusion

In his laboratory, Irene Joliot-Curie had accessto the largest quantity of radioactive material in the world, namely polonium discovered by its parents. This chemical element emits alpha particles, which Irene and Frederic used to bombard various substances. In 1933 they bombarded them with aluminum nuclei. As a result, radioactive phosphorus was obtained. Aluminum, as a rule, has 13 protons, but when bombarded with alpha particles with two positive charges, the nucleus receives additional protons, forming phosphorus. The resulting chemical element was different from the natural one - it was its radioactive isotope.

The researchers tested the alpha-irradiation method andother materials, discovering that when alpha particles collide with atoms, they convert them into another element with a large number of protons. Irene and Frederic Joliot-Curie created artificial radioactivity. They reported this phenomenon to the Academy of Sciences in January 1934.

Joliot Curie Irene short biography

Nobel Prize

The discovery of Joliot-Curie was of great importance notonly for pure science, but also for its numerous applications. In the 1930s, many radioactive isotopes were obtained, which were used as markers in medical diagnostics, as well as in countless experiments. The success of the methodology prompted other scientists to experiment with the release of nuclear energy.

It was a bitter moment for Irene Joliot-Curie. Stayed in an indescribable ecstasy, but the sick mother knew that her daughter was waiting for confession, but she died in July of the same year from leukemia, caused by long-term exposure to radiation. A few months later, Joliot-Curie learned of the Nobel Prize. Although they were nuclear physicists, the couple received a chemistry prize because of the consequences of their discoveries in this field.

In addition, Irene and Frederick became owners ofmany honorary titles and officers of the Order of the Legion of Honor. But all these awards are practically not reflected in them. Reading poetry, swimming, sailing, skiing and hiking were the favorite pastimes of Irene Joliot-Curie. Children Helene and Pierre grew up, and she became interested in social movements and politics. An atheist with left-wing views, Iren defended the suffrage for women. She was deputy minister in the government of the Popular Front Leon Blum in 1936, and then was elected professor at the Sorbonne in 1937.

joliot curie irena photo

The splitting of an atom

Continuing his work in physics at the end1930s, Irene Joliot-Curie conducted an experiment with the bombardment of uranium nuclei by neutrons. With her colleague Pavel Savich, she showed that uranium can be broken down into other radioactive elements. Her fundamental experiment paved the way for another physicist, Otto Khan, who proved that by bombarding uranium with neutrons it can be divided into two atoms of comparable mass. This phenomenon became the basis for the practical application of atomic energy - for the generation of nuclear energy and the production of nuclear weapons.

At the beginning of the Second World War, Irene continuedresearch in Paris, although her husband Frederick went underground. They were both part of the French resistance movement, and in 1944, Irene and her children moved to Switzerland. After the war, she was appointed head of the Radium Institute, as well as an agent for the French atomic project. She spent days in the laboratory and continued to lecture and make presentations on the topic of radioactivity, although her health gradually deteriorated.

Irene Joliot-Curie: biography of the politician

Frederick, a member of the Communist Party since 1942, waswas dismissed by the head of the French Atomic Energy Commission. After that, the spouses began to advocate the use of nuclear energy for the cause of peace. Irene was a member of the World Peace Council and made several trips to the Soviet Union. It was the height of the cold war, and because of political activity, Irene was denied membership in the American Chemical Society, an application for which she submitted in 1954. Her last contribution to physics was helping to create a large particle accelerator and a laboratory in Orsay, south of Paris, in 1955. Her health deteriorated, and 17.03.56 Irene Joliot-Curie died, like her mother, from leukemia as a result of a large total dose of radiation.