Marie Curie

(1867 -1934)1st woman to win a Nobel Prize in Science

Marie Sklodowska was born in 1867 in Warsaw, Poland.  Her parents were both teachers and she was the youngest of five children. She was bright and curious and excelled in school. In her day,the Univsity of Warsaw was for men only, so she attended a set of underground classes hel din secret.  Eventually she atteneded the Sorbonne (a famous University in Paris) where she  met her future husband, Pierre Curie.  She earned University degrees in both physics and mathematics, and with her husband began the study of radioactivity.  They discovered the element polonium, naming it aver Marie's native country of Poland.  They also detected another radioactive element and named it radium.

Marie Curie won two Nobel prizes:   the 1903 Nobel prize in Physics with her husband Pierre and the 1911 Nobel prize in Chemistry.  Very few people win Nobel prizes in two different areas of study.  In addition, she won many other honors, including honorary medicine and law degrees. In 1921 she was presented with 1 gram of radium by President Harding of the U.S. on behalf of hte women in America.

Unfortunately, Marie Curie died in 1934 at the age of 67 from overexposure to radioactivity.  Even today, the original laboratory and the Curie's research notes are still radioactive!


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