Pierre Curie

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Curie, Pierre


Bom May 15, 1859, in Paris; died there Apr. 19, 1906. French physicist. Member of the French Academy of Sciences (1905). Upon graduating from the University of Paris (1877), Curie worked there as a laboratory assistant. From 1882 to 1904 he worked at the Ecole de Physique et de Chimie Industrielle in Paris, first as director of research and then as a professor. Beginning in 1904 he was a professor at the University of Paris. His principal works were devoted to the physics of crystals, magnetism, and radioactivity. Together with his brother, Paul-Jean Curie, he discovered and investigated the phenomenon of piezoelectricity (1880). Curie also studied (1884–45) problems of the symmetry of crystals (in particular, he formulated Curie’s principle) and the problem of symmetry in physics in general (1894). As a result of his studies in magnetic phenomena, Curie established the dependence of magnetic susceptibility of paramagnetic bodies on the absolute temperature (Curie’s law) and discovered a special temperature, above which ferromagnetic materials become paramagnetic (Curie point).

From 1898, Curie and his wife, M. Sklodowska Curie, conducted studies on radioactivity. They discovered polonium and radium (1898) and determined the complex nature of the radiation emitted by radium and the coloration of glass and porcelain by this radiation (1899). In 1903, Pierre Curie discovered the spontaneous evolution of heat by radium salts. He also studied the biological effects of radioactivity. He was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1903.


Oeuvres. Paris, 1908.
In Russian translation:
Izbrannye trudy. Moscow-Leningrad, 1966. (The series Klassiki nauki.)


Curie, M. Pierre Curie. Moscow, 1968. (Translated from French.)
Shpol’skii, E. V. “Zhizn’ i deiatel’nost’ P’era Kiuri.”
Uspekhi fizicheskikh nauk, 1956, vol. 58, issue 4.
Starosel’skaia-Nikitina, O. A. “Zhizn’ i tvorchestvo P’era Kiuri.” Tr. In-ta istorii estestvoznaniia i tekhniki, 1957, vol. 19.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.