Frédéric Joliot-Curie

Frédéric Joliot-Curie

name = Frédéric Joliot-Curie

image_size = 160px
birth_date = March 19, 1900
birth_place = Paris, France
death_date = death date and age|1958|9|14|1900|3|19|df=y
death_place = Paris, France
nationality = France
field = Physics
work_places = Sorbonne, Collège de France, France's National Center for Scientific Research
alma_mater = School of Chemistry and Physics of the city of Paris
doctoral_advisor =
doctoral_students =
known_for = Atomic nuclei
prizes = Nobel Prize for Chemistry (1935)

Jean Frédéric Joliot-Curie born Joliot (March 19, 1900 – August 14, 1958) was a French physicist and Nobel laureate.


Early years

Born in Paris, France, he was a graduate of the School of Chemistry and Physics of the city of Paris. In 1925 he became an assistant to Marie Curie, at the Radium Institute. He fell in love with Irène Curie, and soon after their marriage in 1926 they both changed their surnames to Joliot-Curie. At the insistence of Marie, obtained a second baccalauréat, a bachelor's degree, and a doctorate in science, doing his thesis on the electrochemistry of radio-elements.


While a lecturer at the Paris Faculty of Science, he collaborated with his wife on research on the structure of the atom, in particular on the projection of nuclei, which was an essential step in the discovery of the neutron. In 1935 they were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

In 1937 he left the Radium Institute to become a professor at the Collège de France working on chain reactions and the requirements for the successful construction of a nuclear reactor that uses controlled nuclear fission to generate energy through the use of uranium and heavy water. Joliot-Curie was one of the scientists mentioned in Albert Einstein's letter to President Roosevelt as one of the leading scientists on the course to chain reactions. The Second World War would, however, largely stalled Joliot's research, as did his subsequent post-war administrative duties.



After the Liberation, he served as director of the French National Center for Scientific Research and became France's first High Commissioner for Atomic Energy. In 1948 he oversaw the construction of the first French atomic reactor. A devout Communist, he was relieved of his duties in 1950 for political reasons. Joliot-Curie was also one of the eleven signatories to the Russell-Einstein Manifesto in 1955. Although he retained his professorship at the Collège de France, on the death of his wife in 1956, he took over her position as Chair of Nuclear Physics at the Sorbonne.

Joliot-Curie was a member of the French Academy of Sciences and of the Academy of Medicine and named a Commander of the Legion of Honour, He was awarded the Stalin Peace Prize in 1951 for his work as president of the World Council of Peace.

Personal life

Frédéric and Irène hyphenated their surnames to Joliot-Curie after they married 1926. Eleven months later, their daughter Hélène, was born, who would also become a noted physicist. Their son, Pierre, a biologist, was born in 1932. He devoted the last years of his life to the creation of a centre for nuclear physics at Orsay, which is where his children were educated.


The Joliot crater on the Moon was named after him posthumously.

External links

* [,+Frederic Annotated bibliography for Frederic Joliot from the Alsos Digital Library for Nuclear Issues]

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  • Frédéric Joliot-Curie — Jean Frédéric Joliot Curie (* 19. März 1900 in Paris; † 14. August 1958 ebenda) war ein französischer Physiker. 1935 erhielt er gemeinsam mit seiner Ehefrau Irène Joliot Curie den Chemienobelpreis. Leben Irèn …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Jean-Frederic Joliot-Curie — noun French nuclear physicist who was Marie Curie s assistant and who worked with Marie Curie s daughter who he married (taking the name Joliot Curie); he and his wife discovered how to synthesize new radioactive elements (1900 1958) • Syn:… …   Useful english dictionary

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