Marie Curie Facts

Marie Curie Facts
Marie Sklodowska-Curie (November 7, 1867 to July 4, 1934) was a Polish physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity. In 1903 she became the first woman to win a Nobel Prize. In 1906 she became the first woman professor at the University of Paris.
Interesting Marie Curie Facts:
Maria Salomea Sklodowska was born into a poor family in Warsaw, Poland which was part of the Russian Empire.
She studied at the Floating University which was a Polish underground school that operated in Warsaw between 1885 and 1905 and accepted women.
She entered the University of Paris in late 1891 where she studied physics, chemistry and mathematics and earned a meager salary tutoring students.
In 1893 she received a degree in physics and worked in an industrial laboratory while she earned a second degree.
Marie and Dr. Pierre Curie were married July 23, 1985, and he eventually left his own field of research to work with her.
Marie Curie decided to study uranium emissions as a field of research for her doctoral thesis.
Pierre had invented a sensitive electrometer and she used it to discover that uranium caused the air around the sample to conduct electricity and, since the reaction depended on the size of the sample, she theorized that the radiation was coming from the sample itself and not an interaction between the molecules.
In 1897 Marie took a position at the Ecole Normale Superieure and she and Pierre continued their research in a small, leaky shed near his school.
In her studies of the two uranium minerals, pitchblende and torbernite, she discovered that pitchblende was four times more active than uranium and torbernite was twice as active.
She correctly believed that these two minerals must contain another substance that was more active than and in 1898 she discovered radioactive thorium.
On April 14, 1898 the Curies ground a 100 gram sample of pitchblende in an attempt to find the elusive element that was so much more radioactive than uranium.
They had to process tons of ore to find the new elements because they were present in such minute quantities but in July 1898 they published a paper announcing the discovery of a new element which they named polonium and in December 1898 they discovered radium.
In June 1903 she received her doctorate from the University of Paris and Pierre was was invited to speak on radioactive at the Royal Institution in London but women were not allowed to speak.
In December 1903 she, Pierre and Henri Becquerel shared the Nobel Prize in Physics.
Pierre was killed in an accident in 1906 but Marie continued her work and in 1910 she finally isolated radium.
In 1911 she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry and was the first person to win two Nobel Prizes.
She founded the Radium Institute for research into radioactivity and refused to patent her process for radium isolation so other scientists could continue the work unencumbered.
Her work profoundly affected the physics and chemistry of the modern world and her accomplishments opened doors for women scientists who followed.
On July 4, 1934 she died of aplastic anemia.


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