Irene Curie was born in Paris to Pierre and Marie Curie on 12th November, 1897. Both of her parents were Nobel Prize winning scientists. In order to finish her Baccalaureate, Irene joined the Faculty of Science in Sorbonne. However, her studies were put on hold during World War I during which she helped her mother as an assistant radiographer at the tender age of 18. After fulfilling her duties she joined The Radium Institute in Paris where she became a Doctor of Science in 1925.
Frederic Joliot Curie
Frederic Joliot was also born in Paris on 19th March, 1900. He graduated from the School of Chemistry and Physics of the city of Paris. In 1925, he began assisting Marie Curie at the Radium Institute. It was there that he met Irene Curie, daughter of Marie Curie and eventually married her in 1926. Both, Frederic and Irene changed their last names to Joliot-Curie. This marked the start of one of the most significant partnerships in the field of chemistry.
Research in the field of nuclear physics
Both Frederic and Irene Joliot- Curie specialized in nuclear physics. In 1936, both the Joliot-Curie's made the most important discovery of their careers which eventually won them the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1935. They discovered that it was possible to create artificial radioactive elements from other stable elements.
They conducted experiments which involved bombarding boron with alpha particles which lead to a radioactive form of nitrogen. They also produced radioactive isotopes of phosphorous from aluminium.
In 1936, both the Joliot-Curie's made the most important discovery of their careers, that it was possible to create artificial radioactive elements from other stable elements.
This discovery was a boon for many as the use of radioactive materials in medicine was becoming popular and this discovery made it possible to artificially create radioactive materials in a cheaper, faster and easier way. Up till then the only radioactive material used in the medical industry were the one's which occurred naturally.
They also conducted major research on the structure of the atom, especially the projection of the nuclei. This was an important step in the discovery of the neutron. In 1938, Joliot-Curie researched heavy atoms and the effect of neutrons on them. This led to the discovery of uranium fission.
Honours and achievements
During the course of their careers Frederic and Irene Joliot-Curie received many awards and honours. Irene Joliot-Curie received many doctorates from various universities all over the world, and was a member of various scientific societies. She was also an officer of the Legion of Honour. Frederic Joliot-Curie was President of the National Front and he formed the French Communist Party. In 1946 he became the high commissioner of Atomic Energy. He took active part in politics and was appointed the President of the World Peace Council. Frederic Joliot-Curie was also a holder of many doctorates from Universities all over the world and a Commander of the Legion of Honour.