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Pierre Curie
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    (May 15, 1859-April 19, 1906)
    Born in Paris, France
    With his wife Marie Curie discovered the elements polonium and radium
    Co-recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physics (1903)
    Namesake for the curie, a unit of radioactivity, and curium, a radioactive element
    Died after being run over by a horse-drawn wagon
    He ended up overshadowed by his wife.
    He was rejected by the French Academy of Sciences (1902).
    He attended seances by medium Eusapia Palladino and suggested that spiritualism might reveal the secrets of radioactivity.
    He provided an unfortunate demonstration of the importance of looking both ways before crossing the street.
    Even before studying radioactivity, he made several important discoveries.
    He and his brother discovered the piezoelectric effect (a crystal changes shape in response to an electric field), which became the basis of quartz watches and digital electronic circuits.
    When nominated for the Legion of Honor, he said 'I do not feel the slightest need of being decorated, but I am in the greatest need of a laboratory.'
    He commented, 'Every discovery, however small, is a permanent gain.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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