Émile Henriot (chemist)

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not to be confused with Émile Henriot (1889 - 1961), French writer
Émile Henriot
Èmile Henriot.jpg
Émile Henriot, 1927 at Solvay Conference
Born(1885-07-02)July 2, 1885
DiedFebruary 1, 1961(1961-02-01) (aged 75)
Alma materSorbonne
Known forFirst to show definitively that potassium and rubidium are naturally radioactive.
Scientific career
Doctoral advisorMarie Curie
Doctoral studentsPol Duwez

Émile Henriot (2 July 1885 – 1 February 1961) was a French chemist notable for being the first to show definitely that potassium and rubidium are naturally radioactive.

He investigated methods to generate extremely high angular velocities, and found that suitably placed air-jets can be used to spin tops at very high speeds - this technique was later used to construct ultracentrifuges.

He was a pioneer in the study of the electron microscope. He also studied birefringence and molecular vibrations.

He obtained his DSc in physics in 1912 the Sorbonne, Paris, under Marie Curie.


  • L. Marton (1961). "Obituaries: Prof. E. Henriot". Nature. 190 (4779): 861. Bibcode:1961Natur.190..861M. doi:10.1038/190861a0.
  • Biographie Nationale publiée par L’Académie Royale des Sciences, des Lettres et des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Établissements Émile Bruylant: 1866-1986, vol. 12 (suppl.), col 421-423.
  • Acad. Roy. Belg. Ann., 1964, 130, pp. 47–59.
  • Acad. Roy. Sci. Bull. Cl. Sci., 1961, 47, p. 680.
  • Le Radium, 1908, 5, pp. 41–46