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Curie

physics, professor, paris and chemistry

CURIE, kii-re, Pierre and Marie, distin guished physicists, the former French and the latter Polish, of whom a writer in the Scientific American has said that athey afford an example of a most interesting collaboration, since it con cerns a husband and wife, both of high scien tific attainments, who aided one another with their efforts and knowledge in the arduous path that finally led to the production of pure ra M. Curie was born in 1859; d. Paris, 19 April 1906, and at the age of 20 years began to make independent scientific researches. In 1895 he received his appointment as professor of physics and chemistry, having discharged the duties of chef de travaux up to that time: and the future husband and wife met as teacher and pupil. Marie Sklodowska (born at Warsaw, November 1868) completed the usual course of study at the Warsaw gymnasium about 1884; afterward worked in the laboratory of physics of the Industrial Museum; in 1891 went to Paris and obtained a licentiate's degree in the mathe matical sciences (1893), taking a degree in phys ical and chemical sciences two years later. Be fore M. Pierre Curie married her she had be come instructor in physics at the high school of Sevres: She entered the path marked out by her husband, and together they continued their experiments in the laboratory of the school of physics and chemistry. Toward the end of

1898 Professor and Mme. Curie positively con firmed what they had previously announced with respect to a new and strongly radioactive sub stance derived from pitchblende. In the first place they found an element to which they gave the name polonium; then their collaboration was rewarded by the discovery of radium (s.v.). In 1903 they were awarded the Nobel prize in physicsjointly with A. H. Becquerel (q.v.). In 1904 M. Curie was made professor of physics at the Sorbonne and in 1905 a mem ber of the Institute of France. His memoirs were published mostly in the (Comptes rendus> of the French Academy. In 1908 Mme. Curie was appointed chief professor of physics in the University of Paris. In 1910 she was awarded the Albert medal of the Royal Society of Arts (England), and in 1911 she received the Nobel prize for chemistry. She wrote sur les proprietes magnetiques des aciers trempes) and 'Recherches sur les substances radioactives> (Eng. trans., 2d ed., New York 1904).