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Pierre Curie (1859-1906) Chronology

  • 1859 Pierre Curie born in France.
  • 1867 Maria Salomea Sklodowska born in Warsaw.
  • 1876 Marie’s sisters Bronia and Sofia suffer from typhoid; Sofia dies.
  • 1877 Pierre graduates with a licence in physical sciences.
  • 1878 Pierre is appointed lab assistant to Paul Desains at the Sorbonne.
  • 1878 Marie’s mother dies of tuberculosis.
  • 1881 Pierre and ]acques Curie invent the piezoelectric quartz electrometer.
  • 1882 Pierre is appointed director of lab work at the Ecole Municipale de Physique et Chimie Industrielles (EPCI).
  • 1883 Marie graduates from grammar school with distinction.
  • 1883-4 Marie recovers from illness in the countryside at Skalbmierz.
  • 1885 Marie attends the ‘floating university’ in Warsaw.
  • 1886-9 Marie leaves Warsaw and becomes a governess in Szczuki. She organizes lessons for peasant children. She falls in love with Kazimierz Zorawski.
  • 1889 Marie returns to Warsaw as governess.
  • 1890 Bronia marries Kazimierz Dluski in Paris. Marie attempts her first lab experiments.
  • 1891 Marie moves to Paris to study at the Sorbonne.
  • 1893 Marie graduates in physics with distinction The Alexandrovitch Scholarship enables her to study mathematics.
  • 1894 Marie meets Pierre at a mutual friend’s house and turns down his marriage proposal in the summer. She returns to Poland. She is back in Paris in the autumn. Pierre is appointed professor at the Ecole Municipale de Physique et Chimie Industrielles.
  • 1895 Marie and Pierre get married in Sceaux. Wilhelm Roentgen discovers X-rays.
  • 1896 Marie and Pierre work together at the Ecole Municipale de Physique et Chimie Industrielles. Henri Becquerel discovers ‘Becquerel rays’.
  • 1897 Irene is born. Marie starts her dissertation on radiation.
  • 1898 Pierre and Marie announce the discovery of polonium and radium. They forge their first commercial links with the Société Centrale des Produits Chimiques.
  • 1899-1900 Marie publishes two articles about the nature of radioactivity. She also teaches physics at Sévres.
  • 1900 The University of Geneva offers Pierre a post.
  • 1902 The isolation of pure radium and determination of its atomic weight is achieved. Marie ’s father dies.
  • 1903 Marie is awarded her doctorate. She miscarries her second child. They are presented the Davy Medal by the Royal Society. Marie, Pierre and Henri Becquerel share the Nobel Prize.
  • 1904 Pierre is appointed professor at the Sorbonne. Their second daughter Eve is born.
  • 1905 Pierre gives the Nobel Lecture in Stockholm. He also becomes a member of the Académie des Sciences.
  • 1906 Pierre is killed in a road accident. Marie is given his position at the Sorbonne.
  • 1910 Pierre’s father dies. The international radium unit is defined — the ‘curie’ (Ci).
  • 1911 Marie is not accepted into the Académie des Sciences; it is the height of the Langevin scandal. She wins a second Nobel Prize for chemistry. She collapses and recovers in hospital.
  • 1912 Marie undergoes a kidney operation.
  • 1914 The Radium Institute is set up. The First World War starts.
  • 1914-18 Marie organizes twenty X-ray cars and two hundred permanent X-ray posts.
  • 1916-18 With Marthe Klein and Irene she instructs 150 radiologists.
  • 1919 Marie’s first meeting with Marie Mattingley Meloney (‘Missy’).
  • 1921 Marie’s eyesight and hearing are failing. Her first trip to America.
  • 1922 Marie becomes a member of the League of Nations’ International Commission on Intellectual Cooperation.
  • 1923 Her first eye operation. 25th anniversary of the discovery of radium. Marie is awarded an annual pension by the government.
  • 1924 Marie has two more eye operations.
  • 1925 Irene completes her doctorate. Marie goes to Warsaw for the founding of the Radium Institute.
  • 1926 Irene marries Frederic Joliot.
  • 1929 Marie’s second visit to America.
  • 1930 She undergoes a fourth eye operation.
  • 1932 Marie is in Warsaw for the opening of the Radium Institute.
  • 1934 Marie dies in Switzerland, probably of leukemia, and is buried next to Pierre in Sceaux.
  • 1935 Iréne and Frédéric Joliot-Curie are awarded the Nobel Prize for physics.
  • 1995 Marie’s and Pierre’s remains are moved to the Pantheon in Paris in the presence of the French and Polish Presidents, Francois Mitterand and Lech Walesa.

Biography, Photos, Quotes of Pierre Curie