The Curies

This morning Melvyn Bragg and his guests - including Steven T Bramwell, Professor of Physics and former Professor of Chemistry at University College London - discussed the scientific achievements of the Curie family.

In 1903 Marie and Pierre Curie shared a Nobel Prize in Physics with Henri Becquerel for their work on radioactivity, a term which Marie coined. Marie went on to win a Nobel in Chemistry eight years later; remarkably, her daughter Irène Joliot-Curie would later share a Nobel with her husband Frédéric Joliot-Curie for their discovery that it was possible to create radioactive materials in the laboratory.

The work of the Curies added immensely to our knowledge of fundamental physics but also ushered in a new era in medical research and treatment, paving the way for for modern-day cancer treatment.  


BBC Radio4, In Our Time, The curies