Marie and Pierre Curie, French physicists, with their daughter, 1904.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Photograph of Marie Curie (1867-1934), her husband Pierre (1859-1906) and their daughter Irene. Marie and Pierre continued the work on radioactivity started by H Becquerel (1852-1908). In 1898 they discovered two new elements, polonium and radium. Marie did most of the work of producing these elements, and her notebooks are still too radioactive to use. She went on to become the first woman to be awarded a doctorate in France, and continued her work after Pierre's death. In 1903 they shared the Nobel Prize for Physics with Becquerel. In 1911, Marie was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in her own right. Irene Curie won a Nobel Prize herself in 1935.