Frederic Joliot-Curie, French physicist, c 1930.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Joliot (1900-1958) became an asistant to Marie Curie (1867-1934) in 1925. He married her daughter, Irene (1897-1956), her other asistant in 1926. To protect others, Joliot secured from Norway the world's major stock of 'heavy water' (used as a moderator in early atomic piles) and took it France in 1939. When France fell to the Germans, he had it moved to England. After the war he directed work on France's first atomic pile, which operated in 1948. However, his complex personalty and communist sympathies led to his removal as High Commisioner for Atomic Energy in 1950. He shared the 1935 Nobel Prize with his wife. (Copyright must be cleared with Radium Institute, Paris.)