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Pierre Curie

( French physicist, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1903)

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Biography Pierre Curie
May 15, 1859, Mr.. - April 19, 1906
French physicist Pierre Curie was born in Paris. He was the younger of two sons of a doctor Eugц¬ne Curie and Sophie-Claire (Depulli) Curie. Father decided to give his son They reflect the independent and home-schooling. The boy was so diligent student, in 1876, sixteen years old, received his bachelor's degree, University of Paris (Sorbonne). Two years later he received a Licentiate (equivalent to a master's degree) in physical sciences.
In 1878, Mr.. K. became demonstrator in the physics laboratory of the Sorbonne, where he began to study the nature of the crystals. Together with his elder brother Jacques, who worked in the mineralogical laboratory of the University, K. four years conducted extensive experimental work in this area. Curie brothers discovered piezoelectricity - the appearance under the influence of an externally applied force on the surface of some crystals of electric charges. They opened the opposite effect: the same crystals under an electric field experienced compression. If applied to such crystals, alternating current, they can get to vibrate with ultra-high frequencies at which the crystals will emit sound waves beyond human hearing. Such crystals are very important components of such a radio as microphones, amplifiers and stereo. Curie brothers designed and built a laboratory instrument such as a piezoelectric quartz balance beam, which creates an electrical charge proportional to the applied force. It can be considered the predecessor of the basic units and modules of modern quartz watches and radios. In 1882, Mr.. on the recommendation of the British physicist William Thomson, K. was appointed head of the new laboratory of the Municipal School of Industrial Physics and Chemistry. Although salaries in the school was more than modest, K. remained as head of the laboratory for twenty-two years. A year after the appointment to. Head of Laboratory of cooperation brothers stopped, as Jacques had left Paris to become professor of Mineralogy, University of Montpellier.
In the period from 1883 to 1895. K. performed an extensive series of works, mainly on the physics of crystals. His articles on the geometric symmetry of crystals and still have not lost their importance for crystallographers. From 1890 to 1895. K. studied the magnetic properties of substances at different temperatures. Based on a large number of experimental data in his doctoral dissertation was the dependence between temperature and magnetization, later known as the Curie law.
Working on my dissertation. K. in 1894. met with Maria Sklodowska (Marie Curie), a young Polish student of the Physics Department of the Sorbonne. They married in July 1895, several months after the K. doctorate. In 1897, shortly after the birth of their first child, Marie Curie began to study radioactivity, which soon absorbed his attention to the end of his life.
In 1896, Mr.. Henri Becquerel discovered that uranium compounds continuously emit radiation capable of exposing the photographic plate. Selecting this phenomenon is a topic for his doctoral dissertation, Marie became clear not emit any other connections 'Becquerel rays'. Since Becquerel discovered that uranium emitted radiation increases the electrical conductivity of air near the drugs, she used to measure the electrical conductivity piezoelectric quartz rocker brothers Curie. Soon Marie Curie came to the conclusion that only uranium, thorium, and the connection of these two elements emit radiation Becquerel, which she later called radioactivity. Marie at the beginning of his research made an important discovery: the uranium pitchblende (uranium ore) electrifies the surrounding air is much stronger than it contains compounds of uranium and thorium, and even than pure uranium. From this observation it is concluded that the existence of the uranium pitchblende still unknown highly radioactive element. In 1898, Mr.. Marie Curie reported on the results of their experiments of the French Academy of Sciences. Convinced that the hypothesis of his wife not only true but also very important,. left their own research to help identify the elusive element Marie. Since then, the interests of both Curie researchers have merged so completely that even in his laboratory records they have always used the pronoun 'we'.
. Curie has set out to split uranium pitchblende on the chemical components
. After intensive operations, they received a small number of substances with the highest radioactivity. Turned. that the selected portion contains not one but two unknown radioactive element. In July 1898. Curie published an article 'On the radioactive substance, . contained in the uranium pitchblende '( "Sur une substance radioactive contenue dans la pecelende"), . which reported the opening of one of the elements, . called polonium in honor of the motherland Maria Sklodowska,
. In December, they announced the opening of the second element, which was named radium. Both new elements have been many times more radioactive than uranium or thorium, and accounted for one-millionth part of the uranium pitchblende. To select from radium ore sufficient to determine the atomic weight of numbers, Curie in the next four years have processed several tons of uranium pitchblende. Working in primitive and unhealthy conditions, they performed the operation of chemical separation in huge vats installed in a shed full of holes, and all the tests - in a tiny, poorly equipped laboratory of the Municipal School.
In September 1902. Curies reported that they were able to allocate one-tenth of a gram of radium chloride and to determine the atomic weight of radium, which was equal to 225. (Select Curie polonium could not because he was a product of the decay of radium.) Salt of radium emitted a bluish glow and warmth. This is a fantastic-looking substance has attracted worldwide attention. Recognition and awards for his discovery came almost immediately.
Curie published the huge amount of information about radioactivity, they collected during the study period: from 1898 to 1904. They released thirty-six works. Even before the completion of their studies. Curie also prompted other physicists to study the radioactivity. In 1903, Mr.. Ernest Rutherford and Frederick Soddy suggested that the radiation associated with radioactive decay of atomic nuclei. Decay (losing some of the constituent particles), radioactive nuclei undergo transmutation into other elements. Curie among the first to understand that radium could be applied for medical purposes. Noticing the effects of radiation on living tissue, they suggested that the preparations of radium may be useful in the treatment of malignant diseases.
. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the Curies half of the Nobel Prize in Physics 1903
. 'in recognition ... their joint studies of radiation phenomena discovered by Professor Henri Becquerel ', with whom they shared the prize. Curie were sick and could not attend the awards ceremony. In his Nobel lecture, delivered two years later, K. pointed to the potential danger posed by radioactive substances, they will not be moved into the wrong hands, and added that "belongs to those who, along with Nobel believes that the new discoveries will bring more misery to humanity than good."
. Radium - an element found in nature is extremely rare, and its prices, because of its medical value, rapidly increased
. Curie lived in poverty, and lack of funds could not affect their studies. However, they rejected the patent on its extraction method, as well as on the prospects for the commercial use of radium. In their opinion, it would be contrary to the spirit of science - the free exchange of knowledge. Despite the fact that this refusal deprived them of a considerable profit, the financial position of the Curie improved after receiving the Nobel Prize and other awards.
In October 1904,. K. was appointed professor of physics at the Sorbonne, and Marie Curie - head of the laboratory, which primarily led her husband. In December of that year at the Curie second daughter was born. Higher incomes, improve the financing of studies, plans for a new laboratory, admiration and recognition of the global scientific community should have done the following years Curie fruitful. But, like Becquerel, K. died too early, not having time to enjoy the triumph and accomplish conceived. One rainy day, April 19, 1906, crossing the street in Paris, he slipped and fell. His head fell under the wheels of a passing horse carriage. Death was instantaneous.
Marie Curie inherited his chair at the Sorbonne, where he continued his studies of radium. In 1910,. she was able to extract pure metallic radium, and in 1911. She was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. In 1923, Mr.. Marie has published a biography of K. The eldest daughter Curie, Irene (Irene Joliot-Curie), shared with her husband, Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1935, the youngest, Eva, became a concert pianist and a biographer of their mother.
Serious, discreet, completely focused on their work, K. was however kind and sympathetic person. He enjoyed a fairly well known as an amateur naturalist. One of his favorite entertainments were on foot or bicycle rides. Although employment in the laboratory and family care, Curie found time for walks together.
In addition to the Nobel Prize, K. was awarded several awards and honors, including medals Davy Royal Society of London (1903) and a gold medal Matteuchchi the National Academy of Sciences, Italy (1904). He was elected to the French Academy of Sciences (1905).


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Pierre Curie, photo, biography
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