Frédéric and Irène Joliot-Curie

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Frédéric and Irène Joliot-Curie

1900-1958

1897-1956

French nuclear physicists who were awarded the 1935 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for their discovery of artificial radioactivity. Frédéric Joliot (1900-1958) and Irène Curie (1897-1956), daughter of renowned scientist Marie Curie, married in 1926 and subsequently collaborated under the joint surname Joliot-Curie. Through alpha-particle bombardment they were able to transform elements into radioactive isotopes. Such isotopes are now widely used for medical diagnosis. The Joliot-Curie's work also made nuclear fission and development of nuclear power plants possible. Irène was named director of the Radium Institute in 1932, and Frédéric was instrumental in establishing the French Atomic Energy Commission after World War II.