Irène Joliot-Curie Biography
(French Physicist, Politician and Winner of the 1935 Nobel Prize in Chemistry)
Birthday: September 12, 1897 (Virgo)
Born In: Paris, France
Irene Joliot-Curie was a French scientist who along with her husband, Frédéric Joliot, was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1935 “in recognition of their synthesis of new radioactive elements.” She was born as Irene Curie to scientist parents, Pierre and Marie Curie. A child prodigy, her parents discovered her knack for mathematical abilities and skills when Irene turned ten and started her formal education. Irene’s abilities earned her a seat at the Faculty of Science at the Sorbonne. Though World War I disrupted her studies, she did not squander her time and instead worked as a nurse radiographer along with her mother. Following her doctorate degree and marriage to fellow researcher Frederic Joliot, Irene Joliot-Curie immersed herself completely into scientific research. In 1934, the magnum opus of her career came as she discovered artificial radioactivity along with her husband. The two initiated the start of a new legacy in scientific studies. The artificially created radioactive isotopes, though short-lived, were applied in medicine. They were cheap and could be quickly created in plentiful numbers. For their discovery of artificial radioactivity, the Joliot-Curie couple was awarded a Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Following this, she continued her research on the action of neutrons on the heavy elements. Scientific career apart, Joliot-Curie was active politically. She worked for improving the social standard of women and also took up administrative position at several governmental institutes.