Irene Joliot-Curie and Frederic Joliot, French physicists, c 1935.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Irene Curie (1897-1956) and Frederic Joliot (1900-58) married in 1926 after meeting as asistants to Marie Curie (1867-1934), Irene's mother. They made artificial radioelements by bombarding light elements such as aluminium with alpha particles. In producing these artificial radioelements, they also discovered that positrons were produced, but did not die away when the source of the alpha particles was removed, showing that the proces was similar to other forms of radioactive decay. For these discoveries, they shared the Nobel Prize in 1935. (Copyright must be cleared with Radium Institute, Paris.)