Frederik Joliot-curie

Picture of Frederik Joliot-curie

Date of Birth: 03/19/1900

Age: 58

Place of Birth: Paris

Citizenship: France


Joliot obtained an engineering degree said that in the formation of the future scientist prevailed practical application of chemistry and physics. However, his interests lay more in the field of basic research, which is largely explained by the influence of one of his teachers at the Higher School of Physics and Applied Chemistry - French physicist Paul Langevin. After finishing compulsory military service, Joliot, with Langevin discussed their plans for the future, was advised to try to occupy the position of assistant to Marie Curie University of Paris Institute of Radium.

Joliot followed the advice at the beginning of 1925 took up his new duties at the Institute, where, working taxidermist, went on to study chemistry and physics. The following year he married Irene Curie, daughter of Marie and Pierre Curie, who also worked at the Institute. Joliot received a licentiate (the equivalent master`s degree), continued his work and in 1930 was awarded the title for doctoral study the electrochemical properties of the radioactive element polonium.

In 1935, "made for the synthesis of new radioactive elements" Frederic Joliot and Irene Joliot-Curie together Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded. In his Nobel lecture Joliot noted that the use of artificial radioactive elements as tracers "simplify the problem of finding and removing the various elements that exist in living organisms." From the information collected, he said, "we can conclude that it is not to be considered, if a few hundred atoms, forming our planet, were created all at once and will exist forever." In addition, the Joliot added, "we have reason to believe ... that scientists will be able to carry out the conversion of an explosive nature, these chemical chain reaction", which will release a huge amount of useful energy. "However, if the expansion will extend to all the elements of our planet - warns scientist - the consequences of unleashing such a disaster can only cause trouble."

In 1939, following the discovery by German chemist Otto Hahn possibility of division (splitting) of uranium atoms, Joliot found a direct physical evidence that this division is explosive. Recognizing that a huge amount of energy released in the process of splitting the atom, can be used as an energy source, it has acquired Norway virtually all available then the amount of heavy water. However, the outbreak at the time of the Second World War and the occupation of France by the German army was forced to interrupt his studies. At considerable personal risk, Joliot managed to smuggle available to him the heavy water to England, where it was used by British scientists in their efforts to develop nuclear weapons.

Staying in Paris during the occupation, Joliot retained his positions in the Radium Institute and the College de France. As an active member of the Resistance movement, he used the opportunity of his laboratory for the manufacture of explosives and radio equipment for the Resistance fighters until 1944, when he himself had to go into hiding.

After the liberation of Paris, Joliot was appointed director of the National Center for Scientific Research, it was responsible for the restoration of the country`s scientific potential. In October 1945 Joliot convinced President Charles de Gaulle to create the Commissariat for Atomic Energy of France. Three years later, he led the start-up of the first nuclear reactor in France. Despite the fact that the authority Joliot as a scientist and an administrator was extremely high, its relationship with the Communist Party, which he joined in 1942, displeased, and in 1950 he was dismissed from his post as head of the Atomic Energy Commission.

Now Joliot devoted most of their time in research laboratories and teaching. Staying active politician, he was also president of the World Peace Council. The death of Irene Joliot-Curie in 1956 was a heavy blow for the Joliot. Having become her successor as director of the Institute of radium and replacing it with the teaching at the Sorbonne, he also took over the control of the construction of a new institute in Orsay, south of Paris. However, the body of the scientist has been weakened due to suffering two years earlier of viral hepatitis, and August 14, 1958 Joliot died in Paris after surgery related to internal bleeding.