Born in 1859 in Paris, Pierre Curie was a French physicist who spent a great deal of his life dealing in the fields of chemistry and physics. During his lifetime, he was known for his work in radioactivity, magnetism, piezoelectric effect, and his work and studies with his wife Marie Curie in discovering new elements on the periodic table. Pierre discovered many new things and helped advance the field of chemistry with his discoveries.
Studying physics at the University of Paris, Pierre got a bachelor’s degree in 1875 and became an assistant teacher in 1878. He then changed his research goals to crystallography. Pierre worked on the structure of crystals, which helped him to discover the piezoelectric effect with his brother Jacques. In 1880 they discovered that some crystals developed positive electrical charged at one end and negative at the other when compressed and changed shape when under electric voltage. In 1895, Pierre earned a doctoral degree in physics on his research of magnetism from the University of Paris. He proved that magnetic materials made of iron compounds lose their magnetic properties if heated beyond “Curie point.”
Pierre was best known for working with his wife, Marie Curie, on radioactivity. Meeting Marie Sklodowska Curie in 1894 and Pierre married her in 1895. Having a great devotion to scientific study, their dedication as a team helped them succeed as physicists. They discovered in radioactive materials the atoms break down and release radiation in the form of energy and subatomic particles. In 1898, the Curies isolated the element radium that also contained uranium. They discovered two new elements radium and polonium during their investigation of radioactivity which earned them a Nobel Prize in 1903.
Pierre Curie died very tragically in 1906. His contributions to chemistry in the studies of radioactivity, crystallography and magnetism were greatly significant to help progress the scientific studies of today.