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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 10 Issue 5 (2005) pp 378-386

Marguerite Perey (1909–1975): A Personal Retrospective Tribute on the 30th Anniversary of Her Death

Jean-Pierre Adloffand George B. Kauffman*

Université Louis Pasteur,63 Rue Saint Urbain, Strasbourg, France F-67100, and Department of Chemistry, California State University, Fresno, Fresno, CA 93740-8034,

Published online: 23 September 2005

Abstract. On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the death of French radiochemist Marguerite Perey (1909–1975), her life and achievements are recounted from her earliest youth through her selection as Marie Curie’s assistant, her collaboration with Curie, her research on actinium, discovery of francium (atomic number 87), her career after Curie’s death, her appointment as Professor at the Université Strasbourg, her protracted final illness, and death. Her similarities to and differences from her mentor Madame Curie and other female scientists are discussed. Excerpts from her unpublished letters are also included.

Key Words: Chemistry and History; nuclear chemistry; biography; discovery of elements; nobel laureates; women scientists

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

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Issue date: October 1, 2005

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