Marie Curie (right) and her daughter Irène, 1925. Marie Skłodowska Curie , born Maria Salomea Skłodowska (Polish: [ˈmarja salɔˈmɛa skwɔˈdɔfska]; 7 November 1867 – 4 July 1934), was a Polish and naturalized-French physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity. But despite being a top student in her secondary school, Curie could not attend the male-only University of Warsaw. [31], Between 1898 and 1902, the Curies published, jointly or separately, a total of 32 scientific papers, including one that announced that, when exposed to radium, diseased, tumour-forming cells were destroyed faster than healthy cells. Marie Discovered Something that changed Science forever. [91] Awards that she received include: Marie Curie's 1898 publication with her husband and their collaborator Gustave Bémont[96] of their discovery of radium and polonium was honoured by a Citation for Chemical Breakthrough Award from the Division of History of Chemistry of the American Chemical Society presented to the ESPCI Paris in 2015. [31][41], In December 1903, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded Pierre Curie, Marie Curie, and Henri Becquerel the Nobel Prize in Physics, "in recognition of the extraordinary services they have rendered by their joint researches on the radiation phenomena discovered by Professor Henri Becquerel. Also in 2011, a new Warsaw bridge over the Vistula River was named in her honour. All Explainers are determined by fact checkers to be correct and relevant at the time of publishing. Still, as an old man and a mathematics professor at the Warsaw Polytechnic, he would sit contemplatively before the statue of Maria Skłodowska that had been erected in 1935 before the Radium Institute, which she had founded in 1932. [13] She was helped by her father, who was able to secure a more lucrative position again. The youngest of five children, she had three older sisters and a brother. [13] She continued working as a governess and remained there till late 1891. [14][15], On both the paternal and maternal sides, the family had lost their property and fortunes through patriotic involvements in Polish national uprisings aimed at restoring Poland's independence (the most recent had been the January Uprising of 1863–65). Curie, however, declared that he was ready to move with her to Poland, even if it meant being reduced to teaching French. [13][14], Maria made an agreement with her sister, Bronisława, that she would give her financial assistance during Bronisława's medical studies in Paris, in exchange for similar assistance two years later. The belongings in her Parisian home and laboratory - including her notebooks, furniture, and clothes - remain radioactive almost 100 years after her death, and will be radioactive for another 1,500 years.

See her signature, "M. Skłodowska Curie", in the infobox.

The story of the Nobel laureate was back on the big screen in 2017 with Marie Curie: The Courage of Knowledge, featuring Polish actress Karolina Gruszka. [26] Skłodowska studied during the day and tutored evenings, barely earning her keep. She instead continued her education in Warsaw's "floating university," a set of underground, informal classes held in secret. In 1911, Marie was again awarded a Nobel Prize, this time for chemistry, in recognition of her work in adding two new elements to the Periodic Table. [16] In 1955 Jozef Mazur created a stained glass panel of her, the Maria Skłodowska-Curie Medallion, featured in the University at Buffalo Polish Room. [81] Her papers are kept in lead-lined boxes, and those who wish to consult them must wear protective clothing. Marie Skłodowska Curie was escorted to the United States by the American author and social activist. [26] She was still labouring under the illusion that she would be able to work in her chosen field in Poland, but she was denied a place at Kraków University because of sexism in academia. Your email address will not be published.

Everything, including her personal cookbook, are locked up in lead-lined boxes. It [is] likely that already at this early stage of her career [she] realized that... many scientists would find it difficult to believe that a woman could be capable of the original work in which she was involved. Marie became the first woman to be awarded a Nobel Prize, sharing the Nobel Prize in Physics with her husband and Becquerel for their contributions to the discovery of radiation. [24][31], The [research] idea [writes Reid] was her own; no one helped her formulate it, and although she took it to her husband for his opinion she clearly established her ownership of it.

[107], Numerous locations around the world are named after her. She gave lectures, especially in Belgium, Brazil, Spain, and Czechoslovakia. Under Russian rule, Polish schools no longer provided practical science lessons, so the science-loving teacher brought the now unused lab equipment home for his children to play with. [29][30], In 1897, her daughter Irène was born. Instead, she attended what was known as the Floating University - an illicit institution without a set location that defied Russia's authority and German influence. [47] On 13 May 1906 the physics department of the University of Paris decided to retain the chair that had been created for her late husband and offer it to Marie. Undeterred, Curie worked out a deal with her sister: She would work to support Bronya while she was in school, and Bronya would return the favor after she completed her studies. [20], When she was ten years old, Maria began attending the boarding school of J. Sikorska; next, she attended a gymnasium for girls, from which she graduated on 12 June 1883 with a gold medal. [49] In 1921, she was welcomed triumphantly when she toured the United States to raise funds for research on radium. [26], Their mutual passion for science brought them increasingly closer, and they began to develop feelings for one another. Their remains were sealed in a lead lining because of the radioactivity.

In addition, she had the satisfaction of seeing the development of the Curie Foundation in Paris and the inauguration in 1932 in Warsaw of the Radium Institute, of which her sister Bronisława became director. [24][50] During the French Academy of Sciences elections, she was vilified by the right-wing press as a foreigner and atheist. This revolutionary idea created the field of atomic physics. [24], In 1911, it was revealed that Curie was involved in a year-long affair with physicist Paul Langevin, a former student of Pierre Curie's,[52] a married man who was estranged from his wife. Warren G. Harding, 1921. "use strict";(function(){var insertion=document.getElementById("citation-access-date");var date=new Date().toLocaleDateString(undefined,{month:"long",day:"numeric",year:"numeric"});insertion.parentElement.replaceChild(document.createTextNode(date),insertion)})(); Subscribe to the Biography newsletter to receive stories about the people who shaped our world and the stories that shaped their lives.



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