5 Things You Didn’t Know About Marie Curie

Nancy J. Delong

Marie Curie (1867-1934) was often the only girl in a home total of male scientists. But that didn’t end her from being the initially female to acquire a Nobel Prize, and the initially and only to acquire the award in two different fields.

The Polish-born French physicist acquired recognition for her investigate on radioactivity, but she racked up accomplishments throughout her lifestyle. Marie was a little one prodigy who exhibited remarkable abilities as young as age 4. Born to two lecturers who experienced instilled the value of education, four-12 months-previous Marie taught herself to read both equally French and Russian. Equally as outstanding was Marie’s memory, which allowed her to recall vivid situations from her toddler decades.

In 1891, her French came in useful as the young scientist headed for Paris to more her education at Sorbonne College, where she examined chemistry, maths and physics. There she learned two radioactive features: radium and polonium. Shortly right after, she satisfied her spouse and science husband or wife, Pierre Curie. They shared a enjoy for science and investigate, which led to their floor-breaking discovery of radioactivity — the spontaneous emission of energetic particles or waves through unstable atomic nuclei. The time period radioactivity was coined by Marie herself and garnered the world’s consideration. For their groundbreaking get the job done, the pair received the Nobel Prize in physics in 1903. Even though Marie turned the initially girl to acquire a Nobel Prize, she didn’t end there. In 1911, she turned the sole receiver of the Nobel Prize for chemistry for her get the job done on pure radium. Nowadays, her discoveries on the attributes of radioactive features have paved the way for diagnosis and radiation remedy in medication.

Right here are five exciting information about this radiant girl who paved the path for other female scientists to adhere to:

She Didn’t Have a Fancy Lab

When you consider of a Nobel Prize-profitable physicist, you can only imagine how legit their workspace ought to be. Marie Curie could have damaged limitations in science, but her lab was far from glamorous. When Marie and her spouse sought to perform a collection of experiments that would verify the existence of the features radium and polonium, they desired plenty of space — a conventional laboratory just didn’t make the minimize. Turns out Group Curie opted to get the job done out of an previous shed for much of their Nobel prize-profitable investigate.

She Was a Earth War I Hero

Curie helped save hundreds of troopers by developing mobile radiology models that have been shipped to the entrance lines for army physicians to use. The transportable know-how allowed them to X-ray the wounded troopers and helped tutorial their surgeries. Over a million troopers benefited from the “Petites Curies,” Marie’s creation that came with a generator, a medical center mattress, an X-ray and the ability to save a lifestyle.

Nobel Prizes Operate in the Relatives

Profitable Nobel Prizes was a family affair: The Curie family experienced a whole of five whole Nobel Prizes. Marie held the most, with two to her identify, while her spouse, Pierre, held one. In 1935, daughter Irène Joliot-Curie followed in her parents’ footsteps and received a Nobel along with her spouse, Frederic Joliot for their discovery of new radioactive isotopes. Adhering to the family tradition, the youngest Curie married a Nobel Peace Prize winner, Henry Richardson Labouisse, who received the award as the head of UNICEF in 1965.

Albert Einstein Was a Large Marie Curie Supporter

In 1906, Pierre was killed in a tragic highway incident. As a grieving widow, Marie confronted the brutal sexism that accompanied her fame as a solo female scientist. It was then that Einstein determined to mail a glowing letter to Marie in hopes of uplifting her. The observe not only described how Einstein was impressed by her generate and intellect, but also that she experienced his total help. This is what the father of contemporary physics experienced to say about this outstanding girl: “Marie Curie is, of all celebrated beings, the only one whom fame has not corrupted.”

A Science Appreciate Story

Almost nothing states true enjoy like a shared passion for science. Marie and Pierre Curie have been released by Marie’s colleague shortly right after she graduated from Sorbonne College. The dynamic duo before long turned companions in both equally lifestyle and investigate. In fact, it was Pierre who insisted his wife be equally identified when awarded the Nobel Prize for their scientific discoveries. Though Marie was often undermined as a girl in a male-dominated subject, Pierre backed her each and every move of the way.


This tale is aspect of an ongoing collection checking out famous scientists. Study extra about the biggest scientists of all time:

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