Thursday, November 10, 2011

Marie Curie 1867-1934

Dr. Marie Curie is known to the world as the scientist who discovered radioactive metals i.e. Radium & Polonium.
Marie Curie was a Polish physicist and chemist who lived between 1867-1934. Together with her husband, Pierre, she discovered two new elements (radium and polonium, two radioactive elements that they extracted chemically from pitchblende ore) and studied the x-rays they emitted. She found that the harmful properties of x-rays were able to kill tumors. By the end of World War I, Marie Curie was probably the most famous woman in the world. She had made a conscious decision, however, not to patent methods of processing radium or its medical applications.
Marie CurieMarie Curie was born November 7, 1867 in Poland and died on July 4, 1934. Her co-discovery with her husband Pierre Curie of the radioactive elements radium and polonium represents one of the best known stories in modern science for which they were recognized in 1901 with the Nobel Prize in Physics. In 1911, Marie Curie was honored with a second Nobel prize, this time in chemistry, to honor her for successfully isolating pure radium and determining radium's atomic weight.
As a child, Marie Curie amazed people with her great memory. She learned to read when she was only four years old. Her father was a professor of science and the instruments that he kept in a glass case fascinated Marie. She dreamed of becoming a scientist, but that would not be easy. Her family became very poor, and at the age of 18, Marie became a governess. She helped pay for her sister to study in Paris. Later, her sister helped Marie with her education. In 1891, Marie attended the Sorbonne University in Paris where she met and married Pierre Curie, a well-known physicist.

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