Marie Curie

OMG it's WiSE Wednesday again. And...Marie Curie! 

Madame Curie was born Maria Sklodowska in Warsaw, Poland, on November 7, 1867, but later became both French (c'est vrai!) and a scientist (physicist! chemist!). Her pioneering research on radioactivity earned her a Nobel Prize, the first for a woman. And in fact, she won it a second time, becoming the first person and the only woman ever to win it twice.
Marie began her scientific training in Warsaw but, at the age of 24, followed her older sister to the Sorbonne, where she earned her degrees and conducted the subsequent scientific research that would make her famous. Her achievements include a theory of radioactivity (a term she coined), techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes, and the discovery of two elements: polonium (which she named after her native country - Poland, polonium - get it?) and radium. She shared the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics with her husband Pierre Curie and with physicist Henri Becquerel. She won the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, this time solo.

Curie died on July 4, 1934, aged 66, from anemia brought on by exposure to radiation during her research (carrying test tubes of radium in your pockets is not a good idea), and in the course of her service in World War I, when she set up mobile X-ray units for use in the field.

In 1995, she became the first woman to be entombed on her own merits in the Panthéon in Paris. "Aux grands femmes la patrie reconnaissante."

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