Pierre Curie

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Pierre Curie
Pierre Curie by Dujardin c1906.jpg
Pierre Curie, c.1906
Born(1859-05-15)15 May 1859
Paris, France
Died19 April 1906(1906-04-19) (aged 46)
Paris, France
Alma mater University of Paris
Known for Radioactivity
Curie's law
Curie–Weiss law
Curie constant
Curie temperature
Discovery of piezoelectricity
Spouse(s)
(m. 1895)
Children Irène Joliot-Curie
Ève Curie
Awards Davy Medal (1903)
Nobel Prize in Physics [lower-alpha 1] (1903)
Matteucci Medal (1904)
Elliott Cresson Medal (1909)
Scientific career
Fields Physics, Chemistry
Institutions University of Paris
Doctoral advisor Gabriel Lippmann
Doctoral students Paul Langevin
André-Louis Debierne
Marguerite Catherine Perey
Signature
Pierre Curie signature.svg

Pierre Curie ( /ˈkjʊəri/ KEWR-ee, [1] French:  [pjɛʁ kyʁi] ; 15 May 1859 – 19 April 1906) was a French physicist, a pioneer in crystallography, magnetism, piezoelectricity, and radioactivity. In 1903, he received the Nobel Prize in Physics with his wife, Marie Curie (née Skłodowska), and Henri Becquerel, "in recognition of the extraordinary services they have rendered by their joint researches on the radiation phenomena discovered by Professor Henri Becquerel". [2]

Contents

Early life

Born in Paris on 15 May 1859, Pierre Curie was the son of Eugène Curie (28 August 1827 – 25 February 1910), a doctor of French Catholic origin from Alsace, and Sophie-Claire Curie (née Depouilly) (15 January 1832 – 27 September 1897). He was educated by his father and in his early teens showed a strong aptitude for mathematics and geometry. When he was 16, he earned his Bachelor of Science in mathematics. [3] [ clarification needed ] By the age of 18, he earned his license, the equivalent of a U.S. masters degree, in physical sciences from the Faculty of Sciences at the Sorbonne, also known as the University of Paris. [3] [4] [5] He did not proceed immediately to a doctorate due to lack of money. Instead, he worked as a laboratory instructor. [6] When Pierre Curie was preparing for his Bachelor of Science degree, he worked in the laboratory of Jean-Gustave Bourbouze in the Faculty of Science. [7] In 1895, he went on to receive his doctorate at the University of Paris, in France. [8] The submission material for his doctorate consisted of his research over magnetism. [9] After obtaining his doctorate, he became professor of physics and in 1900, he became professor in the faculty of sciences. [10]

Pierre and Marie Sklodowska-Curie, 1895 Pierre Curie et Marie Sklodowska Curie 1895.jpg
Pierre and Marie Skłodowska-Curie, 1895

In 1880, Pierre and his older brother Paul-Jacques (1856–1941) demonstrated that an electric potential was generated when crystals were compressed, i.e. piezoelectricity. [11] To aid this work they invented the piezoelectric quartz electrometer. [12] The following year they demonstrated the reverse effect: that crystals could be made to deform when subject to an electric field. [11] Almost all digital electronic circuits now rely on this in the form of crystal oscillators. [13] In subsequent work on magnetism Pierre Curie defined the Curie scale. [14] This work also involved delicate equipment - balances, electrometers, etc. [15]

Pierre Curie was introduced to Maria Skłodowska by their friend, physicist Józef Wierusz-Kowalski. [16] Curie took her into his laboratory as his student. His admiration for her grew when he realized that she would not inhibit his research. He began to regard Skłodowska as his muse. [17] She refused his initial proposal, but finally agreed to marry him on 26 July 1895. [6] [18]

It would be a beautiful thing, a thing I dare not hope if we could spend our life near each other, hypnotized by our dreams: your patriotic dream, our humanitarian dream, and our scientific dream. [Pierre Curie to Maria Skłodowska] [6] :117

The Curies had a happy, affectionate marriage, and they were known for their devotion to each other. [19]

Research

Proprietes magnetiques des corps a diverses temperatures
(Curie's dissertation, 1895) Curie1895These.jpg
Propriétés magnétiques des corps à diverses temperatures
(Curie's dissertation, 1895)

Before his famous doctoral studies on magnetism, he designed and perfected an extremely sensitive torsion balance for measuring magnetic coefficients. Variations on this equipment were commonly used by future workers in that area. Pierre Curie studied ferromagnetism, paramagnetism, and diamagnetism for his doctoral thesis, and discovered the effect of temperature on paramagnetism which is now known as Curie's law. The material constant in Curie's law is known as the Curie constant. He also discovered that ferromagnetic substances exhibited a critical temperature transition, above which the substances lost their ferromagnetic behavior. This is now known as the Curie temperature. The Curie temperature is used to study plate tectonics, treat hypothermia, measure caffeine, and to understand extraterrestrial magnetic fields. [20] The Curie is a unit of measurement used to describe the intensity of a sample of radioactive material and is named after Marie and Pierre Curie. [21]

Pierre Curie formulated what is now known as the Curie Dissymmetry Principle : a physical effect cannot have a dissymmetry absent from its efficient cause. [22] [23] For example, a random mixture of sand in zero gravity has no dissymmetry (it is isotropic). Introduce a gravitational field, and there is a dissymmetry because of the direction of the field. Then the sand grains can 'self-sort' with the density increasing with depth. But this new arrangement, with the directional arrangement of sand grains, actually reflects the dissymmetry of the gravitational field that causes the separation.

Pierre and Marie Curie in their laboratory Pierre and Marie Curie.jpg
Pierre and Marie Curie in their laboratory

Curie worked with his wife in isolating polonium and radium. They were the first to use the term "radioactivity", and were pioneers in its study. Their work, including Marie Curie's celebrated doctoral work, made use of a sensitive piezoelectric electrometer constructed by Pierre and his brother Jacques Curie. [24] Pierre Curie's 1898 publication with his wife and M. G. Bémont [25] for their discovery of radium and polonium was honored by a Citation for Chemical Breakthrough Award from the Division of History of Chemistry of the American Chemical Society presented to the ESPCI ParisTech (officially the École supérieure de physique et de Chimie industrielles de la Ville de Paris) in 2015. [26] [27] In 1903, to honor the Curies' work, the Royal Society of London invited Pierre to present their research. [28] Marie Curie was not permitted to give the lecture so Lord Kelvin sat beside her while Pierre spoke on their research. After this, Lord Kelvin held a luncheon for Pierre. [28] While in London, Pierre and Marie were awarded the Davy Medal of the Royal Society of London. [29] In the same year, Pierre and Marie Curie, as well as Henri Becquerel, were awarded a Nobel Prize in physics for their research of radioactivity. [30]

Curie and one of his students, Albert Laborde, made the first discovery of nuclear energy, by identifying the continuous emission of heat from radium particles. [31] Curie also investigated the radiation emissions of radioactive substances, and through the use of magnetic fields was able to show that some of the emissions were positively charged, some were negative and some were neutral. These correspond to alpha, beta and gamma radiation. [32]

The curie is a unit of radioactivity (3.7 × 1010 decays per second or 37 gigabecquerels) originally named in honor of Curie by the Radiology Congress in 1910, after his death. Subsequently, there has been some controversy over whether the naming was in honor of Pierre, Marie, or both. [33]

Spiritualism

In the late nineteenth century, Pierre Curie was investigating the mysteries of ordinary magnetism when he became aware of the spiritualist experiments of other European scientists, such as Charles Richet and Camille Flammarion. Pierre Curie initially thought the systematic investigation into the paranormal could help with some unanswered questions about magnetism. [34] :65 He wrote to his fiancée Marie: "I must admit that those spiritual phenomena intensely interest me. I think they are questions that deal with physics." [34] :66 Pierre Curie's notebooks from this period show he read many books on spiritualism. [34] :68 He did not attend séances such as those of Eusapia Palladino in Paris in June 1905 [34] :238 as a mere spectator, and his goal certainly was not to communicate with spirits. He saw the séances as scientific experiments, tried to monitor different parameters, and took detailed notes of every observation. [34] :247 Despite studying spiritualism, Curie was an atheist. [35]

Curie's defense of spiritualism as a scientific subject have led him to being described as an exemplar of a sufferer of the hypothetical Nobel disease. [36]

Family

Pierre and Marie Curie's daughter, Irène, and their son-in-law, Frédéric Joliot-Curie, were also physicists involved in the study of radioactivity, and each also received Nobel prizes for their work. [37] The Curies' other daughter, Ève, wrote a noted biography of her mother. [38] She was the only member of the Curie family to not become a physicist. Ève married Henry Richardson Labouisse, Jr., who received a Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of Unicef in 1965. [39] [40] Pierre and Marie Curie's granddaughter, Hélène Langevin-Joliot, is a professor of nuclear physics at the University of Paris, and their grandson, Pierre Joliot, who was named after Pierre Curie, is a noted biochemist. [41]

Tombs of Marie (above) and Pierre Curie at Paris' Pantheon Pantheon Pierre et Marie Curie.JPG
Tombs of Marie (above) and Pierre Curie at Paris' Panthéon

Death

Pierre Curie died in a street accident in Paris on 19 April 1906. Crossing the busy Rue Dauphine in the rain at the Quai de Conti, he slipped and fell under a heavy horse-drawn cart. He died instantly when one of the wheels ran over his head, fracturing his skull. [42] Statements made by his father and lab assistant imply that Curie's characteristic absent-minded preoccupation with his thoughts contributed to his death. [43]

Both the Curies experienced radium burns, both accidentally and voluntarily, [44] and were exposed to extensive doses of radiation while conducting their research. They experienced radiation sickness and Marie Curie died of aplastic anemia in 1934. Even now, all their papers from the 1890s, even her cookbooks, are too dangerous to touch. Their laboratory books are kept in special lead boxes and people who want to see them have to wear protective clothing. [45] Most of these items can be found at Bibliothèque nationale de France. [46] Had Pierre Curie not been killed as he was, it is likely that he would have eventually died of the effects of radiation, as did his wife, their daughter Irène, and her husband Frédéric Joliot. [47] [48]

In April 1995, Pierre and Marie Curie were moved from their original resting place, a family cemetery, and enshrined in the crypt of the Panthéon in Paris.

1903 Nobel Prize diploma Nobel Pierre et Marie Curie 1.jpg
1903 Nobel Prize diploma

Awards

Notes

  1. Awarded jointly to Pierre Curie and wife Marie Skłodowska-Curie

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Marie Curie Polish-French physicist and chemist (1867–1934)

Marie Salomea Skłodowska Curie, born Maria Salomea Skłodowska, was a Polish and naturalized-French physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity. As the first of the Curie family legacy of five Nobel Prizes, she was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person and the only woman to win the Nobel Prize twice, and the only person to win the Nobel Prize in two scientific fields. She was the first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris in 1906.

Radium Chemical element, symbol Ra and atomic number 88

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Henri Becquerel Late 19th-century French physicist and engineer

Antoine Henri Becquerel was a French engineer, physicist, Nobel laureate, and the first person to discover evidence of radioactivity. For work in this field he, along with Marie Skłodowska-Curie and Pierre Curie, received the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics. The SI unit for radioactivity, the becquerel (Bq), is named after him.

Irène Joliot-Curie French scientist, elder daughter of Marie and Pierre Curie

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Frédéric Joliot-Curie French scientist (1900-1958)

Jean Frédéric Joliot-Curie was a French physicist and husband of Irène Joliot-Curie, with whom he was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1935 for their discovery of artificial radioactivity. Joliot-Curie and his wife also founded the Orsay Faculty of Sciences, part of the Paris-Saclay University.

Curie may refer to:

Maria Sklodowska-Curie National Research Institute of Oncology Hospital in Masovian Voivodeship, Poland

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Induced radioactivity, also called artificial radioactivity or man-made radioactivity, is the process of using radiation to make a previously stable material radioactive. The husband and wife team of Irène Joliot-Curie and Frédéric Joliot-Curie discovered induced radioactivity in 1934, and they shared the 1935 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for this discovery.

Hélène Langevin-Joliot French physicist

Hélène Langevin-Joliot is a French nuclear physicist. She was educated at the IN2P3 at Orsay, a laboratory which was set up by her parents Irène Joliot-Curie and Frédéric Joliot-Curie. She is a member of the French government's advisory committee. Currently, she is a professor of nuclear physics at the Institute of Nuclear Physics at the University of Paris and a director of research at the CNRS. She is also known for her work in actively encouraging women to pursue careers in scientific fields. She is chairperson of the panel that awards the Marie Curie Excellence award, a prize given to outstanding European researchers. She was president of the French Rationalist Union from 2004 to 2012.

Pierre Adrien Joliot-Curie is a noted French biologist and researcher for the CNRS. A researcher there since 1956, he became a Director of Research in 1974 and a member of their scientific council in 1992. He was a scientific advisor to the French Prime Minister from 1985 to 1986 and is a member of Academia Europæa. He was made a commander of the Ordre National du Mérite in 1982 and of the Légion d'honneur in 1984.

William Duane (physicist) American physicist

William Duane was an American physicist who conducted research on radioactivity and X-rays and their usage in the treatment of cancer. He developed the Duane-Hunt Law and Duane's hypothesis. He worked with Pierre and Marie Curie in their University of Paris laboratory for six years and developed a method for generating quantities of radon-222 "seeds" from radium for usage in early forms of brachytherapy.

Musée Curie

The Musée Curie is a historical museum focusing on radiological research. It is located in the 5th arrondissement at 1, rue Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France, and open Wednesday to Saturday, from 1pm to 5pm; admission is free. The museum was renovated in 2012, thanks to a donation from Ève Curie.

Ștefania Mărăcineanu Romanian physicist (1882-1944)

Ștefania Mărăcineanu was a Romanian physicist.

Women in chemistry

This is a list of women chemists. It should include those who have been important to the development or practice of chemistry. Their research or application has made significant contributions in the area of basic or applied chemistry.

The Curiefamily is a Polish and French family with a number of illustrious scientists. Several members were awarded the Nobel Prize, including physics, chemistry, or the Nobel Peace Prize. Pierre (French) and Marie Curie (Polish) and their daughter Irène Joliot-Curie, are the most prominent members.

Emile Armet de Lisle (1853–1928) was a French industrialist and chemist who helped develop the French radium industry in the early 20th century. Around the turn of the century, Armet de Lisle began to take notice of a growing market for radium products in France. Seeking to take advantage of this opportunity and leave his own mark on the family business, de Lisle established a new factory, just outside Paris, devoted to the production of radium products in 1904. This was the first radium factory in the world.

<i>Radioactive</i> (film) 2018 film by Marjane Satrapi

Radioactive is a 2019 British biographical drama film directed by Marjane Satrapi and starring Rosamund Pike as Marie Curie. The film is based on the 2010 graphic novel Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout by Lauren Redniss.

Discovery of nuclear fission 1938 achievement in physics

Nuclear fission was discovered in December 1938 by chemists Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann and physicists Lise Meitner and Otto Robert Frisch. Fission is a nuclear reaction or radioactive decay process in which the nucleus of an atom splits into two or more smaller, lighter nuclei and often other particles. The fission process often produces gamma rays and releases a very large amount of energy, even by the energetic standards of radioactive decay. Scientists already knew about alpha decay and beta decay, but fission assumed great importance because the discovery that a nuclear chain reaction was possible led to the development of nuclear power and nuclear weapons.

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