Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Today is...the Birth Anniversary of Marie Curie

Today is the birth anniversary of Marie Curie. She was well known for her research on radioactivity and her Noble Prizes in Physics and Chemistry.

Marie Curie was for on November 7, 1867 in Poland.

She moved to Paris in 1891 at age 24 to study physics, chemistry, and mathematics at the University of Paris.

Curie began her scientific career studying magnetic properties of various steels before meeting Pierre Curie, who found her laboratory space for her work

The two eventually married, sharing their love of science, bicycling and travel.

In 1903 Marie Curie won a Nobel Prize in Physics, sharing with her husband Pierre, and physicist Henri Becquerel. Curie was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize.

In 1911, Curie was the sole winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in reward for discovering the elements of radium and polonium.

The 1911 Nobel Prize made Curie the first person to win two Nobel Prizes and she is still one of only two people to win two Prizes in different fields.

After the death of Pierre, Marie had a year-long affair with one of Pierre's former students, Paul Langevin. This caused a scandal as Langevin was married, though estranged from his wife. Curie's granddaughter later married Langevin's grandson.

Curie died in 1934 from aplastic anemia, which she contracted from her long-term exposure to radiation. Since the effects of radiation were unknown at that time, Marie tended to carry about test tubes of radioactive isotopes in her pocket.

Due to their levels of radioactivity, her research papers from her time spent studying radioactive material are too dangerous to handle, including her cookbook. The papers are kept in lead-lined boxes and protective clothing must be worn by anyone who wishes to consult them.

What would you like to be remembered for?

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