Marie Curie

Marie Sklodowska was born in Warsaw, Poland on the 7 of November 1867. Known as a great scientist who discovered two new elements (Polonium, Radium), she was also the first woman to receive a Nobel Prize, as well as the first person to receive two Nobels in her lifetime. At a young age she moved to Paris where she became a governess to help her sister pay her college funds, who when finished, returned the favor and she aided Marie to pay the entrance fee of the Sorbonne. There she met Pierre Curie, another fellow student interested in science. They married and later had a total of two daughters, Irene and Eve. Mary and Pierre both joined forces and studied radioactivity, from where they discovered radium. Pierre died on the rainy Thursday 19 of April, 1906 from a road accident. Marie was devastated and depressed and she sought companionship in her late husband’s best friend, Paul Langevin. Media exposed her affair and it practically destroyed her reputation and all she had achieved so far. And since she was a woman, her achievements were mostly seen as Pierre’s achievements (the man) and when he died, she was supposed to accept the government’s offer of a pension to support herself and her children. She boldly refused and took her husband's job as a professor at the Sorbonne, and she continued her researches. After the media outbreak concerning her affair, she fought hard to be respected again. Then her second Nobel was given to her and she was cast in a new light. She concentrated on finding healing powers with radioactivity and she even went to battlefields during WWI to X-ray the wounded soldiers and find the bullet fragments. She saved many lives. She set up an institute and continued her life successfully, though she would not acknowledge the fact that radium was dangerous and could cause illness. She died on July 4, 1934, in France due to exposure to radioactive substances and pure radium most of her life. Irene, her first daughter, followed in her mother's footsteps and she too received a Nobel in science, along with her husband. Eve went down the literature path and she published the first biography of Marie Curie.

Reference:

This entry was posted in Chemistry, History, Science and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a reply