Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.
Born: 19 March 1900, Paris, France
Died: 14 August 1958, Paris, France
Affiliation at the time of the award: Institut du Radium, Paris, France
Prize motivation: "in recognition of their synthesis of new radioactive elements."
Prize share: 1/2
Radiation from radioactive substances also became an important tool in investigating atoms. When Frédéric Joliot and Irène Joliot-Curie bombarded a thin piece of aluminum with alpha particles (helium atom nuclei) in 1934, a new kind of radiation was discovered that left traces inside an apparatus known as a cloud chamber. The pair discovered that the radiation from the aluminum continued even after the source of radiation was removed. This was because aluminum atoms had been converted into a radioactive isotope of phosphorus. That meant that, for the first time in history, a radioactive element had been created artificially.
See the list of all Nobel Prizes, awarded for "the greatest benefit to mankind."
In his will, Alfred Nobel left 31 million SEK to found the Nobel Prizes.
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