Pierre Curie was a French physical chemist who discovered radium and polonium, while studying radioactivity with his wife, Marie Curie. Widely considered to be one of the founders of founders of modern physics, he pioneered the fields of crystallography, magnetism and piezoelectricity. Curie shared the 1903 the Nobel Prize in Physics with his wife for their work on radiation.
Early Life and Education:
Born in Paris, France on May 15, 1859, Pierre Curie was a childhood prodigy. He showed an extraordinary aptitude for mathematics and geometry. Curie completed the equivalent of a higher degree when he was only 18, but failed to pursue a doctorate due to some financial problems. He instead accepted a job as a laboratory instructor.
Contributions and Achievements:
Pierre Curie is widely credited to be one of the founders of modern physics. As a young researcher, his work had already brought important discoveries related to heat waves, crystals, magnetism and symmetry. He formulated the Curie’s law before he married Marie Sklowdowska in 1895. The Curies, the husband and wife, together discovered polonium and radium while conducting research in radioactivity.
Together with Henri Becquerel, the Curies shared the 1903 Nobel Prize in physics for their revolutionary work on radioactivity.
Later Life and Death:
Pierre Curie died in a street accident in Paris on 19 April 1906. He was only 46 years old.