Curie, Pierre

BORN 15 May 1859, Paris - DIED 19 Apr 1906, Paris: corner of Pont Neuf and Quai de Conti
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Panthéon (Caveau VIII)

Pierre Curie was the son of Eugène Curie, a doctor. When he was sixteen he had obtained a grade in mathematics. Lacking financial means to continue his studies he worked as a laboratory instructor. In 1880 he demonstrated piezoelectricity togheter with his older brother Jacques Curie (1856-1941). He proposed to his student Maria Sklodowska and they married in 1895. Around this time he studied spiritualism, but he was an atheist and his angle was scientific.

Pierre and Marie worked on isolating polonium and radium and they coined the term radioactivity. They succeeded with polonium and in 1903 they received the Nobel Prize in Physics. When he crossed the Rue Dauphine in Paris on 19/04/1906 he slipped and was hit by a horse-drawn cart. His skull was fractured by one of the wheels and he died immediately. He was famous for his absent-mindedness and this may have caused the accident.

He was buried in Sceaux. Marie went on to isolate radium and win a second nobel Prize in 1911. She died in 1934. In 1995 their remains were transferred to the Panthéon in Paris in 1995.

• Wife: Curie, Marie (1895-1906)

Point de Vue (Images du Monde), Point de Vue, Créteil


The tomb of Pierre Curie at the Panthéon, Paris.
Picture by Androom (07 Nov 2016)


Curran, Amelia

Published: 10 Mar 2017
Last update: 10 Mar 2017