Dr. Irène Joilet-Curie

Ph.D. Chemistry, Noble Prize in Chemistry

"The farther the experiment is from theory, the closer it is to the Nobel Prize."


Dr. Irène Joilet-Curie began her work with radiation at a young age. At only 18 years old she began work with her mother Dr. Marie Curie. Together they brought mobile x-ray trucks to medical centers set up for the wounded soldiers. It is estimated that their x-ray machines helped over 1 million soldiers during the first world war.

Soon after the war she began her studies at the Radium Institute that her parents established. She eventually earned her doctorate in Science in 1925 and continued working with radioactivity. The cost of obtaining radioactive materals to study was very expensive. Irène was asked to teach a young student named Frédéric Joilet the techniques she used to try and find a way to make artificial radioactive material. Soon they combined their work and a short while later got married. In 1934 they were able to create artificial radioactivity using their combined work base on Irène's techniques. In 1935 they were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Irène and Marie Curie are the only mother and daughter to have both won Nobel Prizes. Their family also holds the record for most Nobel Prizes won by a family.

All images and descriptions are property of The Violet STEAM Project and may not be used or distributed without the written consent of The Violet STEAM Project