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The first engraved stamp ever to be released by Pierre Albuisson was this one from the Republic of Mali, commemorating Pierre Curie's discovery of radioactivity. 

Pierre Curie was born in Paris, where his father was a general medical practitioner, on May 15, 1859. He received his early education at home before entering the Faculty of Sciences at the Sorbonne. He gained his Licentiateship in Physics in 1878 and continued as a demonstrator in the physics laboratory until 1882 when he was placed in charge of all practical work in the Physics and Industrial Chemistry Schools. In 1895 he obtained his Doctor of Science degree and was appointed Professor of Physics. He was promoted to Professor in the Faculty of Sciences in 1900, and in 1904 he became Titular Professor. 

Curie's studies of radioactive substances were made together with his wife (Marie Curie, née Sklodowska) whom he married in 1895. They were achieved under conditions of much hardship - barely adequate laboratory facilities and under the stress of having to do much teaching in order to earn their living. They announced the discovery of radium and polonium by fractionation of pitchblende in 1898 and later they did much to elucidate the properties of radium and its transformation products. 

Republic of Mali 1981. Pierre Curie, and the Discovery of Radioactivity,

Their work in this era formed the basis for much of the subsequent research in nuclear physics and chemistry. 

Together they were awarded half of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1903 on account of their study into the spontaneous radiation discovered by Becquerel, who was awarded the other half of the Prize. 

Pierre was killed in a tragic street accident in Paris on April 19, 1906, run over by a horse carriage in front of the Sorbonne University, and died instantaneously. 

  • Republic of Mali 1981. Discovery of Radioactivity. 

His wife, Marie Sklodowska, was the daughter of a secondary-school teacher in Warsaw, Poland. 

The couple had two daughters, Irene and Eve, who both continued their parents' fame. Irene, married Frederic Joliot and were joint recipients of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1935. 

The younger daughter, Eve, married the American diplomat H. R. Labouisse, who have both taken lively interest in social problems, and as Director of the United Nations' Children's Fund he received on its behalf the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo in 1965. Eve is the author of a famous biography of her mother, "Madame Curie", (Gallimard, Paris, 1938), translated into several languages. 

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Published June 2005. Revised 08-feb-2007
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