Pierre and Marie Curie.

I have previously shown the grave of  William Perkin, a great british organic chemist. On a recent visit to  Paris, I went to see the crypt in the Panthéon, the great french secular necropolis. What a contrast to Perkin! 

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The Curies have a crypt all to themselves (VII), and other great french scientists such as Bertholet and Langevin as well as mathematicians such as Lagrange who are also interred in other crypts. It is surprising in fact how exclusive admission to the Pantheon is (and how much space for new tombs there still is); whilst many of the graves relate to famous soldiers dating from the french revolution and not a few politicians of course as well as famous literary figures, science and chemistry are very well represented! The French have even named a metro station after the Curies …

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with a  caption that makes nice reading for the passengers whilst waiting for a train.

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A highly readable description of their work can be found in Oliver Sacks’ book Uncle Tungsten. And if you ever visit Paris, remember to ask to go to Gay-Lussac’s lab (who is not interred in the Panthéon), preserved in a time-warp from 100 years ago.

One Response to “Pierre and Marie Curie.”

  1. J. David Adcock says:

    Thanks for the post on Mme. Curie. I trace my Ph.D. provenance to Mme. Curie through my Advisor, the lamentably late Robert E. Wyatt (UT-Austin.) Have never seen the site of her interment…

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