A Woman to Know: Irene Joliot-Curie
|Julia Carpenter||Jun 20, 2016|
The farther the experiment is from the theory, the closer it is to the Nobel Prize. — Irene
(Irene and her mother in 1925, image via Wikimedia Commons)
Her mother was the award-winning Marie Curie, yes, of course, and her husband Frederic Joliot was a famed chemist in his own right, but it was Irene's own work in artificial radioactivity that won her her own acclaim. Working with many of the same elements that ultimately took her mother's life, Irene experimented with creating new elements and changing properties, making huge strides in the then-burgeoning field of nuclear physics.
Twenty-four years after her mother's last Noble Prize, and just a single year after Marie had died due to complications from radiation exposure, Irene and Frederic added another win to the Curie name: the 1935 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. But the daughter wasn't immune from the disease that took her mother -- from her own work with radioactivity, Irene too contracted leukemia, dying at age 58, in Paris's Curie Hospital, named for her mother.
To date, the Curies are the only scientific family to have won five Nobel Prizes.
Add to your library list:
Irene Joliot-Curie (Noelle Loriot)
Radioactive: A Tale of Love and Fallout (Laura Redniss)
The Lady Laureates: Women Who Have Won the Nobel Prize (Olga S. Opfell)
A Devotion to Their Science: Pioneer Women of Radioactivity (Marelene F. Rayner-Cnaham and Geoffrey F. Rayner-Cnaham)
Irene Joliot-Curie (Nobel Committee)
Irene Joliot-Curie: A Pioneer of Atomic Science (Blue Stocking)
175 Faces of Chemistry: Irene Joliot-Curie (Royal Society of Chemistry)
Frederic and Irene Joliot-Curie (Encyclopedia Britannica)
Irene Joliot-Curie (Atomic Heritage Foundation)
A Glow in the Dark, and a Lesson in Scientific Peril (The New York Times)
Women Who Changed the World Through Science and Engineering (Science Blogs)
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