Date of Birth: 09/12/1897
Place of Birth: Paris
At age 10, a year before his father`s death, Irene K. began to engage in a cooperative school organized by his mother and several of her colleagues, including physicists Paul Langevin and Jean Perrin, who also taught at this school. Two years later she enrolled in college Sevigny, graduating on the eve of the First World War. Irene continued her education at the University of Paris (Sorbonne). However, it is a few months interrupted his studies because She worked as a nurse in a military hospital, helping his mother make radiographs.
After the war, Irene K. started working as a research assistant at the Radium Institute, which is headed by her mother, ac to 1921 began to carry out independent research. Her first experiences were associated with the study of radioactive polonium - element, open her parents more than 20 years earlier. Since the radiation phenomenon was associated with the splitting of the atom, its study gave hope to shed light on the structure of the atom. Irene K. studied the fluctuations observed in a number of alpha particles emitted, usually at extremely high speed at the time of the disintegration of polonium atoms. For alpha particles, which consist of 2 protons and 2 neutrons and, consequently, are helium nuclei, as material for the study of atomic structure for the first time have an English physicist Ernest Rutherford. In 1925, for the study of these particles Irene K. was awarded a doctoral degree.
The most significant of its research started a few years later, after in 1926 she married her colleague, assistant Radium Institute Frederic Joliot. In 1930, German physicist Walter Bothe discovered that some lighter elements (including beryllium and boron) emit powerful radiation by bombarding them with alpha particles. Intrigued by the problems that have arisen as a result of this discovery, Joliot-Curie (as they called themselves) have prepared a particularly powerful source of polonium for alpha particles and applied constructed Joliot sensitive condensation chamber, in order to fix the penetrating radiation that arose in this way.
They discovered that when boron or beryllium between the detector and the hydrogen-containing substance plate is placed, the radiation level observed almost doubled. Spouses Joliot-Curie explained the occurrence of this effect is the fact that the penetrating radiation knocks out individual hydrogen atoms, giving them a tremendous speed. Despite the fact that neither Irene nor Frederick, did not understand the essence of this process, they undertake a thorough measurement paved the way for the discovery in 1932 by James Chadwick neutron - electrically neutral part of the majority of atomic nuclei.
Continuing research, Joliot-Curie came to their most significant discovery. Bombarded with alpha particles boron and aluminum, they studied the yield of positrons (positively charged particles, which in all other respects resemble the negatively charged electrons), first discovered in 1932 by the American physicist Carl D. Anderson. Closing of the detector aperture with a thin layer of aluminum foil, the samples are irradiated aluminum and boron alpha particles. To their surprise, the yield of positrons lasted for a few minutes after power has been removed polonium alpha particles. Later Joliot-Curie came to the conclusion that part of the aluminum and boron into a new chemical elements in samples subjected to analysis. Moreover, these new radioactive elements were: 2 absorbing proton and 2 neutrons, alpha particles, aluminum has become a radioactive phosphorus and boron - a radioactive isotope of nitrogen. In a short time Joliot-Curie received a lot of new radioactive elements.
In 1935, Irene J.-C. and Frederic Joliot together Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded for "made the synthesis of new radioactive elements". In his opening speech on behalf of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences KV Palmayer reminded J.-C. how 24 years ago she attended a similar ceremony when the Nobel Prize in chemistry received her mother. "In collaboration with your husband - Palmayer said - you are worthy to continue this tradition of brilliant."
One year after receiving the Nobel Prize J.-C. He became a full professor at the Sorbonne, where she lectured since 1932. She has also retained his position at the Radium Institute, and continued to engage in radioactivity research. In the late 30-ies. Jean-Claude, working with uranium, made several important discoveries, and came close to finding that decays (splitting) of uranium atoms when bombarded with neutrons. Repeating the same experiment, the German physicist Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann colleagues iLize Meitner in 1938 have achieved the splitting of the uranium atom.
Meanwhile, J.-C. beginning more and more attention paid to political activities and in 1936 for four months worked as an assistant Secretary of State for Scientific Research Affairs in the government of Leon Blum. In spite of the German occupation of France in 1940, Jean-Claude and her husband stayed in Paris, where Joliot participated in the resistance movement. In 1944, the Gestapo began to suspect in relation to its activities, and when he`s in the same year went underground, J.-C. with two children fled to Switzerland, where they remained until the liberation of France.
In 1946, Jean-Claude He was appointed director of the Institute of radium. In addition, from 1946 to 1950, she worked in the Commissariat for Atomic Energy of France. Always deep concern regarding the social and intellectual advancement of women, she was part of the French National Committee of the Women`s Union and has worked in the World Council of Peace. By the early 50-ies. her health began to deteriorate, probably as a result she had received a dose of radioactivity. J.-C. He died in Paris on March 17, 1956 from acute leukemia.
High thin woman, known for his patience and even temper, J.-C. very fond of swimming, skiing, and walks in the mountains. In addition to the Nobel Prize, she was awarded honorary degrees from many universities and consisted of many scientific societies. In 1940, Barnard Gold Medal was awarded to her for outstanding scientific merit, awarded by Columbia University. JC He was a knight of the Legion of Honor of France.