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Pierre Curie

A joint award is "more satisfying from the artistic point of view".

"members of the l'Acad�mie des Sciences, including Henri Poincar� and Gaston Darboux, had nominated Becquerel and Pierre Curie for the Prize in Physics. Marie's name was not mentioned."

For almost a century, feminists have held up Marie Sklodowska Curie as such a paragon of feminine accomplishments that who Pierre Curie is, that he hired her as a laboratory assistant, that Professor Henri Becquerel received half the Nobel Prize, that Madame Curie received only a quarter of the Nobel Prize, that Pierre was so sick from his experiments with radiation that he couldn't stand long enough to accept the prize, are all studiously ignored.

If this was such a breakthrough for women, where was the followup?  Why did American 12th grade girls score so poorly on TIMSS physics a century later?timssphysics6.gif (22480 bytes)


American textbooks proclaim that Marie Curie discovered radium.  But these textbooks fail to note that radium was discovered in 1898 by Pierre Curie and G. Bemont, five years before the Nobel Prize was awarded to Pierre Curie and Henri Becquerrel.   It was AFTER this prize was rewarded in 1903 that Pierre requested that Marie be added to his half of the prize because a joint award would be "more satisfying from the artistic point of view".  That was not science--that was art.  Under the guidance and leadership of  the Curie's, France fell 1 to 2 decades behind the rest of the world in nuclear energy, which "marked the end of the Anglo-Saxon monopoly"

"Already Jolio-Curie had chosen at Saclay, near Versailles, the location for a large research centre envisaged as the next step in the development of the Commissariat ^ 1'Energie Atomique. In 1949 the first weighable sample of plutonium produced in France was presented to Joliot, 15 years after the discovery of artificial radioactivity. But in April 1950, in the climax of the cold war. Prime Minister Georges Bidault removed him without explanation from his position as high commissioner, and a few months later Irene was also deprived of her position as commissioner in the Commissariat a 1'Energie Atomique. They devoted themselves henceforth to their own laboratory work and to teaching."

So not only do the feminazis ignore that Marie was a fraud from the beginning, but they fail to note that the only result of her and her children's work was to set back the entire French nation's nuclear program by two decades.   Is this what we really want in the US?  Is "gender equality" so important an objective to this country that we're willing to sacrifice our entire national defense, nuclear energy program, and entire industries to the feminazi altar?

The central fault of feminism is its rigorous dedication to half-truths

(or quarter-truths in Marie's case)

"In 1903 Marie and Pierre Curie were awarded half the Nobel Prize in Physics. The citation was, 'in recognition of the extraordinary services they have rendered by their joint researches on the radiation phenomena discovered by Professor Henri Becquerel'. Henri Becquerel was awarded the other half for his discovery of spontaneous radioactivity. In a letter to the Swedish Academy of Sciences, Pierre explains that neither of them is able to come to Stockholm to receive the prize. They could not get away because of their teaching obligations. He adds, 'Mme Curie has been ill this summer and is not yet completely recovered'. That was certaintly true but his own health was no better. Not until June 1905 did they go to Stockholm where Pierre gave a Nobel lecture."

"Now that the archives have been made available to the public, it is possible to study in detail the events surrounding the awarding of the two Prizes, in 1903 and 1911. In a letter in 1903, several members of the l'Acad�mie des Sciences, including Henri Poincar� and Gaston Darboux, had nominated Becquerel and Pierre Curie for the Prize in Physics. Marie's name was not mentioned. This caused G�sta Mittag-Leffler, a professor of mathematics at Stockholm University College, to write to Pierre Curie. That letter has never survived but Pierre Curie's answer, dated 6 August 1903, has been preserved. He wrote, 'If it is true that one is seriously thinking about me (for the Prize), I very much wish to be considered together with Madame Curie with respect to our research on radioactive bodies'. Drawing attention to the role she played in the discovery of radium and polonium, he added, 'Do you not think that it would be more satisfying from the artistic point of view, if we were to be associated in this manner?' (plus joli d'un point de vue artistique)."

"My mother was 37 years old when I was
born. When I was big enough to know
her, she was already an aging woman
who had reached the summit of renown.
And yet it is the 'celebrated scientist'
who is strangest to me - probably
because the idea that she was a
'celebrated scientist' did not occupy the
mind of Marie Curie. It seems to me
rather, that I have always lived near the
poor student, haunted by dreams, who
was Marie Sklodowska long before I
came into the world."
Eve Curie, biographer of her mother

"Pierre Curie, b. May 15, 1859, d. Apr. 19, 1906, obtained his doctorate in the year of his marriage, but he had already distinguished himself (along with his brother Jacques) in the study of the properties of crystals. He discovered the phenomenon of piezoelectricity, whereby changes in the volume of certain crystals excite small electric potentials. Along with work on crystal symmetry, Pierre Curie studied the magnetic properties of materials and constructed a torsion balance with a tolerance of 0.01 mg. He discovered that the magnetic susceptibility of paramagnetic materials is inversely proportional to the absolute temperature (Weiss-Curie's law) and that there exists a critical temperature above which the magnetic properties disappear (curie temperature)."

"In 1903 Pierre Curie was also awarded the Davy Medal of the Royal Society of London and appointed professor of physics at the University of Paris in 1904, and in 1905 he was elected to the French Academy of Sciences. Such positions were not then commonly held by women, and Marie was not similarly recognized. Pierre's life ended on April 19, 1906, when he was run over by a horse-drawn cart. His wife took over his classes and continued her own research."

Note that all of the key research was completed by Henri Becquerel, Pierre Curie, Wilhelm C. R�ntgen in 1895, Henri Poincar�, Edmond Becquerel, G[erhard Carl] Schmidt, Jacques Curie, Ernest Rutherford in January 1899, P. Villard in 1900, Andr� Debierne in 1899, and William Crookes in 1900.

"... the discovery of new radioactive materials, polonium and radium (by Pierre and Marie Curie and their colleague, Gustave B�mont), [woke] the world and Becquerel to the significance of his discovery".

"One hundred years ago this month, on 28 December 1898, Pierre Curie, Marie Sklodowska-Curie and Gustave B�mont published a paper in Comptes-rendus - the journal of the French Academy of Sciences. In the paper they announced that they had discovered a new element with astonishing properties: radium."


bulletWhat did Marie do to deserve an award?
bulletWhy did the Nobel committee allow a Nobel prize winner to add his wife to the prize?
bulletIf a century-ago award was such a breakthrough for feminist intellectuals, where are the modern day "Madame Curie"s?
bulletWhy do feminists focus so much attention on a woman who received a quarter of a Nobel Prize almost a century ago?
bulletWhy is nothing known about Prof. Becquerel who received the other half of the prize?
bulletWhy do feminists promote so many half-truths?
bulletWhat can be gained by basing an entire ideology on lies and half-truths?
bulletWhy was the French nuclear energy program 1-2 decades behind the rest of the world under Curie's leadership?
bulletWhy did the French government summarily fire her in th
bulletDo women understand physics?


Almost a full century after Marie Curie made history, the TIMSS study demonstrated that a statistical zero percent of American 12th grade girls were able to correctly answer 30 physics questions which a third of the 12th grade boys participating from 18 countries around the world answered correctly:

Only 25% of girls correctly answered Item G01 PATH OF ELECTRONS TRAVELING THROUGH A MAGNETIC FIELD, which is exactly the percentage who would have answered correctly if they had just guessed at this 4 part multiple choice question.  Only 22% answered Item G04 RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN INDUCED CURRENT AND VARYING MAGNETIC FIELD, which is 3% fewer than would have answered correctly if they had just guessed at this 4 part question.  Only 20% correctly answered Item G05 DIRECTION REFRACTED RAY OF LIGHT, which is exactly the percent who would have answered it correctly if they had just guessed at this 5 part question.  Only 18% got Item G07 ENERGY TRANSFORMATION AND COLLISION OF CARS correct, 2% fewer than if they had just guessed.  11% got Item G08 MECHANICAL ENERGY OF BLOCK AND SPRING SYSTEM correct, 9% fewer than if they guessed.  17% got Item G09 DIRECTION OF FORCES IN AMUSEMENT PARK RIDE correct, 8% fewer than if they guessed.20% got Item G10 MINIMUM VOLTAGE NEEDED TO PRODUCE X- RAYS correct, exactly what they would have gotten by sheer guesswork.   Only 4% correctly answered Item G11 EFFECT OF ICE MELTING ON WATER LEVEL IN AQUARIUM, only 1% higher than the standard error of 3%. Only 1.4% (less than the standard error) got G12 CALCULATION OF MASS USING CONSERVATION OF MOMENTUM correct.  7% got Item G13 DOPPLER EFFECT AND MOVING CAR correct, but this is barely a physics question to anyone who has seen an American highway.   2% (less than the standard error of 3%) got Item G14 PATHS OF ALPHA, BETA, AND GAMMA RAYS THROUGH AN ELECTRIC FIELD correct.  2% (less than the standard error) got G15 DIRECTION OF ACCELERATION OF A BOUNCING BALL correct. 3% (about the standard error) got G16 EFFECT OF PRESSURE ON WATER LEAKING FROM A BOTTLE correct. 1% (less than the 3% standard error) got G18 ALPHA PARTICLES PASSING THROUGH GOLD correct.  0% got non-multiple choice Items G19 LENZ’S LAW AND FALLING ALUMINUM RING, and H18 TELEVISION AS PARTICLE ACCELERATOR correct.  23% got H03 PHOTOELECTRIC EFFECT AND KINETIC ENERGY OF EMITTED ELECTRONS correct, 3% more than just guessing. 1% got Item H04 TENSION OF STRING BETWEEN TWO FALLING OBJECTS correct, 19% less than if they had merely guessed. 29% got Item H06 INDUCED emf IN ROTATING COIL correct, 4% more than would have correctly answered this 4 part question had they just guessed at it.  Only 9% correctly answered Item H07 RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TEMPERATURE AND PRESSURE WITH CONSTANT VOLUME which is 16% fewer than if they had guessed.  Only 10% got Item H08 PATH OF ELECTRONS IN ELECTRIC FIELD correct, 10% less than if they just guessed.  Only 15% got Item H09 REFRACTION AND VELOCITY OF BLUE LIGHT correct, 5% fewer than just guessing.Only 11% correctly answered Item H10 VECTOR SUM OF ELECTRIC FORCES, 9% fewer than if they just guessed.  3% (the standard error) correctly answered H13 INTERPRETATION OF A FORCE VERSUS DISTANCE GRAPH, a non-multiple choice question.  Only 1% correctly answered H14 EFFECT OF DENSITY ON THE FREEZING OF WATER, which is 24% lower than if they just guessed. 1% (less than the 3% standard error) correctly answered the non-multiple choice question Item H17 RESISTANCE OF A SERIES CIRCUIT COMPONENT.

6% correctly answered Items H12 PARTICLE MOVEMENT IN A TRANSVERSE WAVE, and H15 DE BROGLIE WAVELGTH OF A MOBILE ELECTRON which are non-multiple choice questions which suggest that the level of understanding was just slightly higher than the standard error s12alm95.pdf



From Encyclopedia Britannica:

1932, the surprising result that such a radiation is able to
project heavy nuclei and is not composed of photons, the
discrete particles of which light is composed. On Febru-
ary 27, 1932, Sir James Chadwick, having reviewed the
experiments in the Cavendish Laboratory, interpreted the
particles, in the journal Nature, as the neutrons postu-
lated as early as 1923 by Rutherford.

In 1934, the year Frederic Joliot-Curie was appointed
lecturer at the Sorbonne, Frederic and Irene directed an
experiment in which a thin sheet of aluminum was bom-
barded with alpha particles from an intense source of
polonium; neutrons and positrons were emitted, the lat-
ter continuing to appear after the withdrawal of the
source of polonium at a rate that decreased exponentially
with time. Radioactive phosphorus was thus formed. In
the same way, radioactive nitrogen could be formed by
bombarding boron, and radioactive silicon was formed
when magnesium was the target. The radioactive ele-
ments were in fact produced also with particle acceler-
ators in other laboratories, but their artificial formation
was discovered in Marie Curie's laboratory. Thus, Marie
Curie had the pleasure of seeing the first sample of arti-
ficial radioactive material a few months before she died
of leukemia caused by radiation on July 4, 1934, near

Radioactive isotopes were developed, and their use
soon became widespread; the Joliot-Curies saw their ap-
plications in medicine and biology. In 1935 they were
awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for the synthesis
of new radioactive elements. The Joliot-Curies then
moved into a home at the edge of the Pare de Sceaux.
They left it only for visits to their house in Brittany at
Pointe de 1'Arcouest, where university families had been
meeting together since the time of Marie Curie. And,
for the sake of Irene's lungs, they visited the mountains
ofCourchevel during the 1950s.

Frederic, appointed professor at the College de France
in 1937, devoted a part of his activities to preparing new
sources of radiation. He then supervised the construction
of electrostatic accelerators at Arcueil-Cachan and at
Ivry and a cyclotron of seven million electron volts at
the College de France, the second (after the Soviet Un-
ion) installation of equipment of this type in Europe.

Irene then devoted her time largely to the upbringing
of Helene and Pierre. But both she and Frederic had a
lofty idea of their human and social responsibilities.
They had joined the Socialist Party in 1934 and the
Comite de Vigilance des Intellectuels Antifascistes
(Vigilance Committee of Anti-Fascist Intellectuals) in

1935. They also took a stand in 1936 on the side of Re-
publican Spain. Marie Curie had already favoured grant-
ing to women the right to vote. Irene was also convinced
that women did not have the place in society they de-
served. Considering it her duty, therefore, to accept the
high offices that were offered her, she was one of three
women to participate in the Popular Front government of

1936. As undersecretary of state for scientific research,
she helped to lay the foundations, with Jean Perrin, for
what would later become the Centre National de la
Recherche Scientifique (National Centre for Scientific
Research). She appeared two times in vain before the
Academic des Sciences to affirm the right of women to
become members.

Nuclear fission. Appointed professor at the Sorbonne
in 1937, Irene continued her work on radioactive ele-
ments produced with neutrons. In 1938, along with Pavie
Savic, she demonstrated on a target of uranium the
transitory appearance of an element analogous to lantha-
num. The result was interpreted in December 1938 by
Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann, who conceived the
process of nuclear fission. Frederic immediately under-
took to demonstrate fission, by physical means. He suc-
ceeded in this as early as January 1939 while Otto Robert
Frisch was independently obtaining the same result.
Then came experiments carried on by Frederic Joliot-
Curie, with Hans von Halban, Lew Kowarski, and Fran-
cis Perrin, to prove that many neutrons are produced
during fission, that the possibility exists of developing
nuclear reactions in explosive chains, and that such nu-
clear reactions can be controlled in order to release great
quantities of energy. These discoveries were then pro-
tected by five patents, which Joliot-Curie and his col-
laborators turned over to the Centre National de la
Recherche Scientifique.

The war years. Pierre and Marie Curie had decided to
publish everything. This was also the attitude adopted by
the Joliot-Curies for the discovery of artificial radioactive
elements. But anxiety resulting from the rise of Nazism
and the awareness of the dangers that could result from
the application of chain reactions led them to cease pub-
lication. On October 30,1939, they recorded the principle
of nuclear reactors in a sealed envelope, which they de-
posited at the Academic des Sciences; it remained secret
until 1949. Joliot-Curie became the director of a group
of scientific researchers at the beginning of the war in
1939; continuing the work, he convinced Raoul Dautry,
minister of armaments, to purchase in Norway the world
stockpile of 130 litres (140 quarts) of heavy water. Then,
in June 1940 Joliot-Curie sent the stockpile of heavy
water to England; the stockpile of uranium entrusted
personally to him by the Union Miniere du Haut Katanga
was hidden near Toulouse.

Joliot-Curie chose to remain in occupied Prance with
his family and to make certain that the Germans who
came into his laboratory could not use his work or his
equipment, whose removal to Germany he prevented.
The Joliot-Curies continued their research, notably in
biology; after 1939, Frederic demonstrated, with Antoine
Lacassagne, the use of radioactive iodine as a tracer in
the thyroid gland. He became a member of the Academic
de Medecine in 1943.

But the struggle against the occupying forces began to
require more and more of his attention. In November of
1940 he denounced the imprisonment of the French sci-
entist Paul Langevin. In June of 1941 he took part in the
founding of the National Front Committee, of which he
became the president. In the spring of 1942, after the
execution by the Nazis of the theoretical physicist J.
Solomon, Joliot-Curie joined the French Communist
Party, of which in 1956 he became a member of the
central committee. He created the Societe d'fitudes des
Applications des Radio-elements Artificiels, an industrial
company that gave work certificates to scientists and thus
prevented their being sent to Germany. In May 1944,
Irene and their children took refuge in Switzerland and
Joliot-Curie lived in Paris under the name of Jean-Pierre
Gaumont. His laboratory at the College de France, at
which he organized the production of explosives, served
as an arsenal during the battle for the liberation of
Paris. In recognition, he was designated a commander
of the Legion of Honour with a military title and was
decorated with the Croix de Guerre.

Applications of atomic energy. In France, after the
liberation in 1944, Joliot was elected to the Academic
des Sciences and was entrusted with the position of di-
rector of the Centre National de la Recherche Scien-
tifique. He helped to establish with G. Teissier a system
that created for the centre a structure of democratic
management and assigned to it the mission of coordinat-
ing research on a national scale.

Then, in 1945 General de Gaulle authorized Joliot and
Dautry to create the establishment of the Commissariat
a 1'Energie Atomique to ensure for France the applica-
tions of the discoveries made in 1939. Irene Curie de-
voted her scientific experience and her abilities as an
administrator to the acquisition of raw materials, the
prospecting for uranium, and the construction of detec-
tion installations. In 1946 she was also appointed director
of the Radium Institute. Frederic's responsibilities also
took him twice in 1946 to the United Nations. In spite
of the difficulties encountered in France, where in-
dustry was only beginning to be reconstructed, his efforts
culminated in the deployment, on December 15, 1948, of
ZOE (zero, oxyde <furanium, eau lourde), the first French
nuclear reactor, which, though only moderately power-
ful, marked the end of the Anglo-Saxon monopoly. Al-
ready Jolio-Curie had chosen at Saclay, near Versailles,
the location for a large research centre envisaged as the
next step in the development of the Commissariat ^
1'Energie Atomique. In 1949 the first weighable sample
of plutonium produced in France was presented to Joliot,
15 years after the discovery of artificial radioactivity. But
in April 1950, in the climax of the cold war. Prime Min-
ister Georges Bidault removed him without explanation
from his position as high commissioner, and a few
months later Irene was also deprived of her position as
commissioner in the Commissariat a 1'Energie Atomique.
They devoted themselves henceforth to their own labora-
tory work and to teaching.

The danger that radioactivity, "in criminal hands," ac-
cording to the expression used by Pierre Curie in his
Nobel speech in 1903, could create a burden for the hu-
man race had been felt by the Curies, but for them it
was a distant possibility. For the Joliot-Curies, it was a
matter of conscience, which Frederic had already ex-
pressed in his Nobel speech of 1935. They were com-
mitted to the struggle for the free circulation of ideas and
discoveries, for using atomic energy in the service of
peace, and for checking the nuclear arms race and the
testing of atomic and hydrogen bombs. In 1946 Frederic
renewed contacts with his British colleagues to found the
World Federation of Scientific Workers, became even
more involved as president and founder of the World
Peace Movement in 1949, and launched the "Stockholm
Appeal" against nuclear armaments in 1950. In 1955,
along with others, he helped to initiate the Pugwash con-
ferences, named for the town in Nova Scotia where sci-
entists from around the world first met to discuss inter-
national politics.

During the 1950s, following several operations, Irene's
health began to decline. In May of 1953 Frederic had the
first attack of hepatitis from which he was to suffer for
five years, with a serious relapse in 1955\ In 1955 Irene
drew up plans for the new nuclear physics laboratories
at the Universite d'Orsay, south of Paris, where teams of
scientists could work with large particle accelerators un-
der conditions less cramped than in the Parisian lab-
oratories. Early in 1956 Irene was sent into the moun-
tains, but her condition did not improve. Wasted away
by leukemia as her mother had been, she again entered
the Curie Hospital, where she died on March 17, 1956.

Ill, knowing that his days were also numbered, Frederic
decided to carry on Irene's unfinished work. In September
1956 he accepted the position of professor at the Univer-
sity of Paris left vacant by Irene, at the same time occupy-
ing his own chair at the College de France. He also suc-
cessfully completed the establishment of the Orsay lab-
oratories and saw the start of research there in 1958.
Making one final gesture for peace, he took the chair at
the inauguration in July of the International Congress of
Nuclear Physics, the first one organized in France since
World War II. He died on August 14, 1958, at Paris.

BIBLIOGRAPHY. The basic biographies are MARIE CURIE,
Pierre Curie (Eng. trans. 1923); and EVE CUKIE, Madame
Curie (Eng. trans. 1937), both eyewitness accounts. EUGENIE
COTTON, Les Curies (1963), contains recollections of the four
Curies and an assessment of their scientific accomplish-
ments. The author was a student of Marie Curie at the ficole
Normals Superieure at Sevres, and remained a friend of the
family for the rest of her life; she met Irene, as a child of
five; and, toward the close of her life, she was associated with
Frederic Joliot in the Movement for Peace. See also PIERRE
BIQUARD, Joliot-Curie (1961; Eng. trans., 1965), for an ac-
count of the friendship between the author and Joliot, which
began when they were students at the ficole de Physique et
Chimie; Biquard was Joliot's principal secretary at the
French Atomic Energy Commission, and was closely asso-
ciated with his activities for peace. A scientific evaluation is
given in the address by FRANCIS PERRIN on the "Oeuvre scien-
tifique de Marie Sktodowska-Curie et son influence sur les
grandes conquetes de la physique moderne" in Centenary
Lectures, given in Warsaw 1967 (1968).



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