March 26th, 2015
Episode 445 of 533 episodes
The scientific achievements of the Curie family were numerous. In 1903 Marie and Pierre Curie shared a Nobel Prize in Physics with Henri Becquerel for their work on radioactivity, a term which Marie coined. Marie went on to win a Nobel in Chemistry eight years later; remarkably, her daughter Irène Joliot-Curie would later share a Nobel with her husband Frédéric Joliot-Curie for their discovery that it was possible to create radioactive materials in the laboratory. The work of the Curies added immensely to our knowledge of physics and paved the way for modern treatments for cancer and other illnesses. Melvyn Bragg is joined by Patricia Fara, Senior Tutor of Clare College, University of Cambridge; Robert Fox, Emeritus Professor of the History of Science at the University of Oxford and Steven T Bramwell, Professor of Physics and former Professor of Chemistry at University College London.