Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Birth of Marie Curie, sesquicentennial (1867)

No doubt the most famous Polish-born scientist since Copernicus, Curie was born in Warsaw on November 7, 1867, as Maria Sklodowska. Challenged by poverty, family tragedies and poor health, she nevertheless excelled as a high school student. But she then worked as a governess, while continuing as much science education as possible, until her married sister invited her to Paris. There she completed her physics education with honors and met and married another young physicist, Pierre Curie.

Together they tackled the mystery of the newly discovered radioactivity, winning the physics Nobel in 1903 along with radioactivity’s discoverer, Henri Becquerel. Marie continued the work after her husband’s tragic death in 1906; she became the first person to win a second Nobel, awarded in chemistry in 1911 for her discovery of the new radioactive elements polonium and radium.

From: Science News