The Life And Accomplishments Of Marie Curie
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Marie Curie was born on November 7, 1867 in Warsaw, Poland. Her first few years were very trying on her spirits; her sister died from typhus, and four years later, her mother. Despite her difficult childhood, however, Curie went on to graduate at the top of her high school class at the age of fifteen. Due to her gender and Russian reprisals following the January Uprising, she was prohibited from going to a university, and therefore attended the illegal “underground” Flying University. In 1891, however, Curie left Poland and enrolled in the Sorbonne, and graduated first in her undergraduate class in 1893, and in 1894 she earned a Masters Degree in mathematics. In the midst of her studies she fell in love and In July, 1895, Curie married fellow scientist Pierre Curie, and together they studied radioactive materials. They also managed to find time to start a family; in 1897 Curie gave birth to her first baby girl, Irene. Although she was now a mother, Curie managed to continue her scientific studies and schooling. Like her childhood, Maries adult life was not without its tragedies as well. In August, 1903, Curie experienced a miscarriage, and she wrote of her sadness to her sister Bronya, “I had grown so accustomed to the idea of the child that I am absolutely desperate and cannot be consoled.” (August 25, 1903). Despite this unfortunate event, 1903 was still a very important year for her career-wise, because under the doctoral supervision of Henri Becquerel, she received her Doctor of Science from the Higher School of Industrial Physics and Chemistry of the City of Paris. Also, In 1903 she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics along with her husband and Henri Becquerel. Although the Nobel Prize is a prestigious award by itself, it was even more special because Curie was the first woman to ever win this award. Shortly thereafter Marie Curie gave birth to another baby girl, Eve, on December 6, 1904. Seven years later, Marie Curie won a second Nobel Prize, for chemistry, in 1911. As of 2006, she is still the only woman to have won two Nobel Prizes, and she is one of only two people to have won a Nobel Prize in two different categories. Unfortunately, in the meantime between her two Nobel Prizes, her husband Pierre perished on April 19, 1906 when he was run over in a street accident. Her husbands tragic demise, according to her daughter Eve, had a tremendous effect on Marie. “From the moment when those three words, Pierre is dead, reached her conciousness, a cape of solitude and secrecy fell upon her shoulders forever.” (Eve Curie, Madame Curie). In her own words, Marie described her feelings after her his death, “Crushed by the blow, I did not feel able to face the future. I could not forget, however, what my husband used to say, that even deprived of him, I ought to continue my work.” To cope with her husbands death, Curie began keeping a diary eleven days after his death. Five years after Pierres death, Curie allegedly had an affair with physicist Paul Langevin, a married man with four children, and resulted in a press scandal. Rumors sprouted quickly, and she was labelled as a home wrecker by the media when the story broke on November 4, 1911. In fact, upon her return to France, Curie discovered an angry mob in front of her house in Sceaux, terrorizing her daughters Irene and Eve; Curie and her children were forced to take refuge in the home of friends in Paris.

Marie Curie devoted much time and money to the research of radium, using the scientific method in her studies to develop methods for the separation of radium from radioactive residues in sufficient quantities to allow for its characterization and the careful study of its properties. Ms. Curie made an unusual but honorable decision to not patent the radium isolation process, leaving it open so the scientific community could research unhindered. She had hypothesized that the emission of rays by uranium compounds could be an atomic property of the element uranium–something built into the very structure of its atoms, which proved to be a correct hypothesis. Her hypothesis contributed to a fundamental shift in scientific understanding. Curie conducted many experiments during the 1890s to determine if other elements or minerals would make air conduct electricity better, or if uranium alone could do this. Her research in April, 1898, revealed that thorium compounds, like those of uranium, emit Becquerel rays. After this experiment, she invented the term “radioactivity”, based on the Latin word for “ray”. She actively promoted the use of radium to alleviate suffering and during World War I, and she personally devoted herself to this remedial work, and she actively pushed for the use of portable radiography units, named “Little Curies”, for the treatment of wounded soldiers, which were powered by radon. By October, 1914, the first of twenty radiology vehicles she would equip was ready. Curie would later say that “The use of the X-rays during the war saved the lives

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Marie Curie And Nobel Prize. (April 3, 2021). Retrieved from