Frédéric Joliot-Curie

Jean Frédéric Joliot-Curie (French: [fʁʁik ʒɔ.ljo ky.ʁi]; 19 March 1900 – 14 August 1958), born Jean Frédéric Joliot, was a French physicist, husband of Irène Joliot-Curie with whom he was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.[1][2]

Frédéric Joliot-Curie
Jean Frédéric Joliot

19 March 1900
Paris, France
Died14 August 1958 (aged 58)
Paris, France
Alma materUniversity of Paris
Known forAtomic nuclei
Spouse(s)Irène Joliot-Curie
ChildrenHélène Langevin-Joliot (b. 1927)
Pierre Joliot (b. 1932)
Scientific career
FieldsPhysics , Chemistry


Early years

Born in Paris, France, he was a graduate of the École Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles de la Ville de Paris.[3] In 1925 he became an assistant to Marie Curie, at the Radium Institute. He fell in love with her daughter Irène Curie, and soon after their marriage in 1926 they both changed their surnames to Joliot-Curie. [4]At the insistence of Marie, Joliot-Curie 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, or recoil, of nuclei that had been struck by other particles, which was an essential step in the discovery of the neutron by Chadwick in 1932. In 1935 they were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their discovery of "artificial radioactivity," resulting from the creation of short-lived radioisotopes by nuclear transmutation from the bombardment of stable nuclides such as boron, magnesium, and aluminium with alpha particles.

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, however, largely stalled Joliot's research, as did his subsequent post-war administrative duties.

Frederic Juliot-Curie1
Stamp Issued by Romania commemorating Frédéric Joliot-Curie.

At the time of the Nazi invasion in 1940, Joliot-Curie managed to smuggle his working documents and materials to England with Hans von Halban, Moshe Feldenkrais and Lew Kowarski. During the French occupation he took an active part in the French Resistance as a member of the National Front. Collins and LaPierre in their book Is Paris Burning? note that during the Paris uprising in August 1944 he served in the Prefecture of Police manufacturing for his fellow insurgents Molotov cocktails, the Resistance's principal weapon against German tanks. The Prefecture was the scene of some of the most intense fighting during the uprising.[5]


After the Liberation of France, he served as director of the French National Center for Scientific Research, and appointed by Charles De Gaulle in 1945, he became France's first High Commissioner for Atomic Energy. In 1944 French physicists, Pierre Auger and Jules Gueron were working on the British nuclear weapons research program at Chalk River in Canada. As France was being liberated by the Normandy invasion, they returned to France to inform Frederic Joliot-Curie of the progress of the American/British nuclear weapon program. Frederic passed on that information to his Soviet friends. In 1948 he oversaw the construction of the first French atomic reactor. A devoted communist, he was purged in 1950 and relieved of most of his duties, but retained his professorship at the Collège de France. Joliot-Curie was one of the eleven signatories to the Russell-Einstein Manifesto in 1955. 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.

Honours and awards

The crater Joliot on the Moon is named after him. He was elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society (ForMemRS) in 1946.[1]

He was the recipient of the first Stalin Peace Prize, given in 1951.

A street in Sofia, Bulgaria, and the nearby Joliot-Curie Metro Station are named after Frédéric Joliot-Curie. Other streets bearing his name can be found in the Rivière-des-Prairies borough of north Montreal, Canada; in Bucharest, Târgu-Mureș, and Cluj-Napoca, Romania; in Warsaw and Wrocław, Poland; and in Poprad, Slovakia.

Joliot-Curie appeared as himself in Kampen om tungtvannet (La bataille de l'eau lourde in French; 1948), a French–Norwegian semi-documentary film about sabotage of the Vemork heavy water plant in Norway during World War II. His assistants Hans Halban and Lev Kovarski also appear. Joliot-Curie is shown lecturing about nuclear fission and chain reaction at the Collège de France.[6]

Personal life

Frederic and Irene Joliot-Curie
The Joliot-Curies in the 1940s

Frédéric and Irène hyphenated their surnames to Joliot-Curie after they married on October 4, 1926 in Paris, France, although their daughter has said, "Many people used to name my parents Joliot-Curie, but they signed their scientific papers Irène Curie and Frédéric Joliot."[7]

Joliot-Curie's daughter, Hélène Langevin-Joliot, was born in 1927. She is a nuclear physicist and professor at the University of Paris. Her brother, Pierre Joliot, was born in 1932. He is a biochemist at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique.

Frédéric Joliot-Curie devoted the last years of his life to the creation of a centre for nuclear physics at Orsay, where his children were educated.


  1. ^ a b c Blackett, P. M. S. (1960). "Jean Frederic Joliot 1900–1958". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. Royal Society publishing. 6 (0): 86–105. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1960.0026. ISSN 0080-4606.
  2. ^ Goldsmith, Maurice (1976). Frédéric Joliot-Curie: a biography. London: Lawrence & Wilshart. ISBN 0-85315-342-6.
  3. ^ "Les ingénieurs de la 39e promotion de l'ESPCI".
  4. ^ "Irène Joliot-Curie - Biographical". Retrieved 2017-12-05.
  5. ^ Lapierre, Dominique; Collins, Larry (1965). Is Paris Burning?. New York: Warner Books. pp. 107, 120. ISBN 978-0-446-39225-9.
  6. ^ Kampen om tungtvannet on IMDb
  7. ^ "Marie & Pierre Curie's granddaughter, Hélène Langevin-Joliot, visits the United States". Retrieved 2007-01-17.

External links

1958 in France

Events from the year 1958 in France.

Curie (disambiguation)

A Curie (Ci) is a unit of radioactivity, named after the Curie family.Curie may also refer to:

Curie Family, a family of distinguished scientists:Jacques Curie (1856–1941), French physicist, Pierre's brother

Pierre Curie (1859–1906), French physicist and Nobel Prize winner, Marie's husband

Marie Curie (1867–1934), Polish-French chemist and physicist, two-time Nobel Prize winner

Irène Joliot-Curie (1897–1956), French physicist and Nobel Prize winner, Marie and Pierre's daughter

Frédéric Joliot-Curie (1900–1958), French physicist and Nobel Prize winner, Irène's husband

Ève Curie (1904–2007), French-American writer and journalist, Marie and Pierre's second daughter

Curie Institute (Paris)

Institut Curie is one of the leading medical, biological and biophysical research centres in the world.

It is a private non-profit foundation operating a research center on biophysics, cell biology and oncology and a hospital specialized in treatment of cancer. It is located in Paris, France.

Curie family

The Curie family is a French family with a number of illustrious scientists. Several members were awarded the Nobel Prize, including physics, chemistry, or the Nobel Peace Prize. Pierre and Marie Curie, and their daughter Irène Joliot-Curie, are the most prominent members.


ESPCI Paris (officially the École supérieure de physique et de chimie industrielles de la Ville de Paris; The City of Paris Industrial Physics and Chemistry Higher Educational Institution) is an institution of higher education founded in 1882 by the city of Paris, France. It educates undergraduate and graduate students in physics, chemistry and biology and conducts high-level research in those fields. It is ranked as the first French École d'Ingénieurs in the 2017 Shanghai Ranking.ESPCI Paris is a constituent college of PSL Research University and a founding member of the ParisTech (Paris Institute of Technology) alliance.

5 researchers and alumni from ESPCI Paris have been awarded the Nobel Prize:

Pierre and Marie Curie (Physics, 1903),

Marie Curie - second Nobel Prize (Chemistry, 1911),

Frédéric Joliot-Curie (Chemistry, 1935),

Pierre-Gilles de Gennes (Physics, 1991),

Georges Charpak (Physics, 1992).Two thirds of the students enter the School following a competitive examination (concours X-ESPCI-ENS) following at least two years of Classes Préparatoires. The other students are recruited by submitting applications. The School itself is also known as Physique-Chimie or simply PC.

ESPCI Paris nurtures relationships with many industrial partners such as Schlumberger, Rhodia, Total, Thales, Arkema, Michelin, Withings, which sponsors groups of students and has research contracts with ESPCI laboratories. ESPCI Paris also has partnerships with L'Oréal and Saint-Gobain for professional recruitment.

French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission

The French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission or CEA (French: Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives), is a French public government-funded research organisation in the areas of energy, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. The CEA maintains a cross-disciplinary culture of engineers and researchers, building on the synergies between fundamental and technological research.

CEA is headed by a board headed by the general administrator (currently François Jacq since April 20, 2018), advised by the high-commissioner for atomic energy (currently Yves Bréchet). Its yearly budget amounts to 4.7 billion euros and its permanent staff is slightly under 16,000 persons. It owns Areva.

CEA was created in 1945; since then, the successive high-commissioners have been Frédéric Joliot-Curie, Francis Perrin, Jacques Yvon, Jean Teillac, Raoul Dautry, René Pellat, Bernard Bigot, and Daniel Verwaerde.

It conducts fundamental and applied research into many areas, including the design of nuclear reactors, the manufacturing of integrated circuits, the use of radionucleides for curing illnesses, seismology and tsunami propagation, the safety of computerized systems, etc.

It has one of the top 100 supercomputers in the world, the Tera-100. TERA 100, first system designed and built in Europe to reach the petaflops in 2010, was ranked in 5th position in the worldwide TOP 500. CEA is now building TERA-1000 which is a key step in the implementation of their Exascale program for the computing needs that CEA would face by 2020.

In March 2016, Reuters published an article describing the "Top 25 Global Innovators – Government" and placed CEA as number one amongst "The World's Most Innovative Research Institutions"

Hélène Langevin-Joliot

Hélène Langevin-Joliot (born 19 September 1927) is a French nuclear physicist. She was educated at the IN2P3 (English: Institute of Nuclear Physics and Particle Physics) at Orsay, a laboratory which was set up by her parents Irène Joliot-Curie and Frédéric Joliot-Curie. She is a member of the French government's advisory committee. Currently, she is a professor of nuclear physics at the Institute of Nuclear Physics at the University of Paris and a Director of Research at the CNRS. She is also known for her work in actively encouraging women to pursue careers in scientific fields.

She is Chairperson of the panel that awards the Marie Curie Excellence award, a prize given to outstanding European researchers.

She was President of the French Rationalist Union from 2004 to 2012.

Induced radioactivity

Induced radioactivity, also called artificial radioactivity or man-made radioactivity, is the process of using radiation to cause a previously stable material to become radioactive. The husband and wife team of Irène Joliot-Curie and Frédéric Joliot-Curie (they both began using the surname Joliot-Curie when they married in 1926) discovered induced radioactivity in 1934, and they shared the 1935 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for this discovery.Irène Curie began her research with her parents, Marie Curie and Pierre Curie, studying the natural radioactivity found in radioactive isotopes. Irène and Pierre Joliot-Curie Irene branched off from the Curies to study turning stable isotopes into radioactive isotopes by bombarding the stable material with alpha particles (denoted α). The Joliot-Curies showed that when lighter elements, such as boron and aluminium, were bombarded with α-particles, the lighter elements continued to emit radiation even after the α−source was removed. They showed that this radiation consisted of particles carrying one unit positive charge with mass equal to that of an electron, now knowns as a beta particle.

Neutron activation is the main form of induced radioactivity. It occurs when an atomic nucleus captures one or more free neutrons. This new, heavier isotope may be either stable or unstable (radioactive), depending on the chemical element involved.

Because free neutrons disintegrate within minutes outside of an atomic nucleus, free neutrons can be obtained only from nuclear decay, nuclear reaction, and high-energy interaction, such as cosmic radiation or particle accelerator emissions. Neutrons that have been slowed down through a neutron moderator (thermal neutrons) are more likely to be captured by nuclei than fast neutrons.

A less common form of induced radioactivity results from removing a neutron by photodisintegration. In this reaction, a high energy photon (a gamma ray) strikes a nucleus with an energy greater than the binding energy of the nucleus, which releases a neutron. This reaction has a minimum cutoff of 2 MeV (for deuterium) and around 10 MeV for most heavy nuclei. Many radionuclides do not produce gamma rays with energy high enough to induce this reaction.

The isotopes used in food irradiation (cobalt-60, caesium-137) both have energy peaks below this cutoff and thus cannot induce radioactivity in the food.Some induced radioactivity is produced by background radiation, which is mostly natural. However, since natural radiation is not very intense in most places on Earth, the amount of induced radioactivity in a single location is usually very small.

The conditions inside certain types of nuclear reactors with high neutron flux can induce radioactivity. The components in those reactors may become highly radioactive from the radiation to which they are exposed. Induced radioactivity increases the amount of nuclear waste that must eventually be disposed, but it is not referred to as radioactive contamination unless it is uncontrolled.

Further research originally done by Irene and Frederic Joliot-Curie has led to modern techniques to treat various types of cancers.

Irène Joliot-Curie

Irène Joliot-Curie (French: [iʁɛn ʒoljokyʁi] (listen); 12 September 1897 – 17 March 1956) was a French scientist, the daughter of Marie Curie and Pierre Curie and the wife of Frédéric Joliot-Curie. Jointly with her husband, Joliot-Curie was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1935 for their discovery of artificial radioactivity. This made the Curies the family with the most Nobel laureates to date. Both children of the Joliot-Curies, Hélène and Pierre, are also esteemed scientists.


Joliot is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Frédéric Joliot-Curie (1900–1958), French radiochemist and Nobel laureate

Hélène Langevin-Joliot (born 1927), French nuclear physicist

Irène Joliot-Curie (1897–1956), French radiochemist and Nobel laureate, daughter of Marie Skłodowska-Curie and Pierre Curie

Pierre Joliot (born 1932), French biologist and researcher for the CNRS

List of people on the postage stamps of Albania

This is a list of people honored on the postage stamps of Albania.

The list is complete through 1973.

Gjergj Arianiti, military general (1968)

Ludwig van Beethoven, composer (1970)

Pavel Belyayev, Soviet astronaut (1965)

Ismet Bruçaj, hero (1969)

Pjetër Budi, writer (1966)

Valeri Bykovski, Soviet astronaut (1963)

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, Italian painter (1973)

Fuat Çela, hero (1969)

Andon Zako Çajupi, poet (1950,1966)

Nicolaus Copernicus, astronomer (1973)

Ndoc Deda, hero (1950)

Henri Dunant, Red Cross founder (1963)

Albrecht Dürer, German painter and engraver (1971)

Agron Elezi, hero (1969)

Friedrich Engels, socialist (1964, 1970)

Abdyl Frashëri, patriot (1968)

Naim Frashëri, writer (1950, 1986, 2000)

Sami Frashëri, writer (1950, 1960)

Yuri Gagarin, Soviet astronaut (1962, 1963)

Countess Geraldine Apponyi de Nagy-Apponyi, queen (1938)

Naim Gjylbegaj, hero (1950)

Mihal Grameno hero and writer (1958)

Luigj Gurakuqi, patriot and politician (1958)

Ahmet Haxhija, hero (1950)

Enver Hoxha, president (1947, 1949, 1951, 1968, 1969)

Frédéric Joliot-Curie, French physicist (1959)

Zef Jubani, writer and scholar (1968)

Ali Kelmendi, communist leader (1960)

Myrteza Kepi, hero (1969)

Kostandin Kristoforidhi, writer (1950)

Vojo Kushi, hero (1947)

Vladimir Lenin, revolutionary (1957, 1960, 1961, 1964, 1965, 1970)

Alexei Leonov, Soviet astronaut (1965)

Hidajet Lezha, hero (1950)

Pjetër Lleshi, hero (1969)

Petro Nini Luarasi, patriot (1956, 1962)

Mary Magdalene (1973)

Mao Zedong, Chinese leader (1964, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1973)

Karl Marx, economist (1957, 1961, 1964, 1965, 1968)

Ndoc Mazi, hero (1950)

Ndre Mjeda, priest and poet(1966)

Alexander Moissi, actor (1960)

Nuci Naci (1956)

Andrian Nikolayev, Soviet astronaut (1963)

Millosh Gjergj Nikolla, Migjeni, poet (1961)

Pavel Popovich, Soviet astronaut (1963)

Ismail Qemali, patriot, politician (1962, 1972)

Jeronim de Rada, poet (1964)

Adem Reka, hero (1969)

Vasil Shanto (1947)

Muhamet Shehu, hero (1969)

Gjergj Kastrioti, Skanderbeg, Hero (1913, 1951, 1968)

Pandeli Sotiri (1956)

Qemal Stafa, hero (1947, 1972)

Joseph Stalin, Soviet leader (1949, 1963, 1969)

Valentina Tereshkova, Soviet astronaut (1963)

Gherman Titov, Soviet astronaut (1963)

Tanush Topia, military general (1968)

Çerçiz Topulli, hero (1958)

Pashko Vasa, writer (1960)

Shkurte Vata, hero (1969)

Naum Veqilharxhi, writer (1958)

Victor Emmanuel III of Italy (1939, 1942)

Leonardo da Vinci, Italian polymath (1969)

Jani Vreto, writer (1960)

Zog of Albania, king (1925, 1928, 1930, 1938)

Lycée Lakanal

Lycée Lakanal is a public secondary school in Sceaux, Hauts-de-Seine, France, in the Paris metropolitan area. It was named after Joseph Lakanal, a French politician, and an original member of the Institut de France. The school also offers a middle school and highly ranked "classes préparatoires" undergraduate training. Famous French scientists and writers have graduated from lycée Lakanal, such as Jean Giraudoux, Alain-Fournier and Frédéric Joliot-Curie. The school includes a science building, a large park, a track, and dormitories for the Pôle Espoir Rugby and the boarding students. Several teachers also live at the school along with boarding students. The main classrooms and the dormitories are in one building, and the school uses space heaters in every classroom except the science building's classrooms and the gymnasium.As of 2016 the school has about 2,550 students in all levels, from junior high school to preparatory classes.

Musée Curie

The Musée Curie (Curie Museum) is a historical museum focusing on radiological research. It is located in the 5th arrondissement at 1, rue Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France, and open Wednesday to Saturday, from 1pm to 5pm; admission is free. The museum was renovated in 2012, thanks to a donation from Ève Curie.

The museum was established in 1934, after Curie's death, on the ground floor of the Curie Pavilion of the Institut du Radium. It was formerly Marie Curie's laboratory, built 1911-1914, and where she performed research from 1914-1934. In this laboratory her daughter and son-in-law Irène and Frédéric Joliot-Curie discovered artificial radioactivity, for which they received the 1935 Nobel Prize for Chemistry.

The museum contains a permanent historical exhibition on radioactivity and its applications, notably in medicine, focusing primarily on the Curies, and displays some of the most important research apparatus used before 1940. It also contains a center for historical resource which holds archives, photographs, and documentation on the Curies, Joliot-Curies, the Institut Curie, and the history of radioactivity and oncology.

Paweł Finder

Paweł Finder (Polish pronunciation: [ˈpavɛw ˈfindɛr]; pseudonyms: Paul Finder, Paul Reynot; 19 September 1904 – 26 July 1944) was a Polish-Jewish Communist leader and First Secretary of the Polish Workers' Party (PPR) from 1943 to 1944.Finder came from an affluent Jewish shopkeeping family in Bielsko-Biała, where he was educated. He briefly flirted with Zionism while still at school and visited Palestine. He studied chemistry in Vienna, Mulhouse and Paris, where he was a researcher at the Conservatoire national des arts et métiers and was an assistant to Frédéric Joliot-Curie.

Stockholm Appeal

The Stockholm Appeal was an initiative launched by the World Peace Council on 19 March 1950 to promote nuclear disarmament and prevent atomic war.

Toshiko Yuasa

Toshiko Yuasa (湯浅年子, 11 December 1909 – 1 February 1980) was a Japanese nuclear physicist who worked in France. She was the first Japanese female physicist.

Wang Dezhao

Wang Dezhao or Ouang Te-Tchao (Chinese: 汪德昭; December 20, 1905 – December 28, 1998) was a French-educated Chinese physicist who was known for his research in atmospheric electricity and underwater acoustics. Under the direction of Paul Langevin, he helped the French improve sonar at the beginning of World War II and after his return to China, Wang was considered as the founder of national defense water acoustics in China.

Zoé (reactor)

The Zoé reactor, or EL-1, was the first French atomic reactor. It was built in 1947 at the Fort de Châtillon in Fontenay-aux-Roses, a suburb of Paris.

Design work for the heavy water reactor was started in 1947 by Frédéric Joliot-Curie, who was at the time director of the French atomic energy agency Commissariat à l'énergie atomique (CEA). The project manager was Lew Kowarski, who had just returned from Canada, where he had supervised the construction of the Canadian ZEEP heavy water reactor. Zoé was activated on 15 December 1948, reaching a power of 150 kW by 1953. The nuclear fuel was provided by Bouchet of Ballancourt-sur-Essonne, which reprocessed the irradiated fuel and extracted the first milligrams of French-produced plutonium. The reactor was shut down in March 1976 and containment of the reactor was completed in 1977.

The choice of moderator and fuel was dictated by the undeveloped state of the French nuclear industry at the time, which could not manufacture the corrosion-proof equipment needed for a more advanced unit. The reactor was a pool-type design, with five tons of heavy water moderator surrounded by a two meter-thick concrete wall. The core, immersed in the pool, consisted of 60 aluminum-cased vertical rods containing three tons of uranium oxide pellets, controlled by cadmium rods. The heavy water was purchased from Norsk Hydro. A cooling system was added after the reactor had operated for a time, allowing it to run at a heat release rate of 200 kilowatts.The name Zoé was an acronym, from Zéro de puissance (zero power, that is, very little capacity to produce electricity, which made it easier and faster to build); Oxyde d'uranium (uranium oxide), Eau lourde (heavy water). The Châtillon site was superseded for later nuclear research by a new site at Saclay. The reactor was also known as EL-1 (Eau Lourde); its successor at Saclay was EL-2.The building that formerly housed Zoé is now an exhibit space, the Museum of the Atom.

Ève Curie

Ève Denise Curie Labouisse (French pronunciation: ​[ɛv dəniz kyʁi labwis]; December 6, 1904 – October 22, 2007) was a French and American writer, journalist and pianist. Ève Curie was the younger daughter of Marie Skłodowska-Curie and Pierre Curie. Her sister was Irène Joliot-Curie and her brother-in-law Frédéric Joliot-Curie. Ève was the only member of her family who did not choose a career as a scientist and did not win a Nobel Prize, although her husband Henry Richardson Labouisse, Jr. did collect the Nobel Peace Prize in 1965 on behalf of UNICEF. She worked as a journalist and authored her mother's biography Madame Curie and a book of war reportage, Journey Among Warriors. From the 1960s she committed herself to work for UNICEF, providing help to children and mothers in developing countries.


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