Dr. Marie Curie is known
to the world as the scientist who discovered radioactive metals i.e. Radium & Polonium.
Marie Curie was a Polish physicist and
chemist who lived between 1867-1934. Together with her husband, Pierre, she
discovered two new elements (radium and polonium, two radioactive elements that
they extracted chemically from pitchblende ore) and studied the x-rays they
emitted. She found that the harmful properties of x-rays were able to kill tumors. By the end of World War I, Marie Curie was probably
the most famous woman in the world. She had made a conscious decision, however,
not to patent methods of processing radium or its medical applications.
Curie was born November 7, 1867 in Poland and died on July 4, 1934. Her co-discovery with
her husband Pierre Curie of the radioactive elements radium and polonium
represents one of the best known stories in modern science for which they
were recognized in 1901 with the Nobel Prize in Physics. In 1911, Marie
Curie was honored with a second Nobel prize, this time in chemistry, to
honor her for successfully isolating pure radium and determining radium's
As a child, Marie Curie amazed people
with her great memory. She learned to read when she was only four years
old. Her father was a professor of science and the instruments that he
kept in a glass case fascinated Marie. She dreamed of becoming a scientist,
but that would not be easy. Her family became very poor, and at the age
of 18, Marie became a governess. She helped pay for her sister to study
in Paris. Later, her sister helped Marie with her education. In 1891, Marie
attended the Sorbonne University in Paris where she met and married Pierre
Curie, a well-known physicist.
After the sudden accidental death
of Pierre Curie, Marie Curie managed to raise her two small daughters (Irène,
who was herself awarded a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1935, and Eve who
became an accomplished author) and continue an active career in experimental
Marie Curie contributed greatly to
our understanding of radioactivity and the effects of x-rays.
She received two Nobel prizes for her brilliant work, but died of leukemia,
caused by her repeated exposure to radioactive material.
Curie and The Science of Radioactivity
She is best known as the discoverer
of the radioactive elements polonium and radium and as the first person
to win two Nobel prizes.
Maria (Marie Fr.) Sklodowska-Curie (born
in Warsaw, Poland, on November 7, 1867) was one of the first woman scientists
to win worldwide fame, and indeed, one of the great scientists of this century.
Curie - Science Hero
A friend of the Curies, A. Henri Becquerel,
had been playing with recently discovered properties of the element uranium.
He talked to Pierre and Marie about those properties and they became interested
in them too. Marie Curie set about investigating the effect, which she named
"radio-activity" for her Doctorate research.
Madame Marie Curie shared with her
husband, Pierre Curie, the honors for discovering two radioactive elements,
radium and polonium.
The triumphs amd tragedies of a
by National Institute of Standards and Technology - Physics Laboratory,
and the Department of Energy
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