Marie Curie

Here we listed out important facts about famous scientist Marie Curie, with his Biography, Profile, Facts, Timeline, Awards, Achievement, etc.,

Born: 7 November 1867, Warsaw, Poland
Died: 4 July 1934, Sancellemoz
Citizenship: Poland (by birth), France (by marriage)
Fields: Physics, chemistry
Discovered: Radium, Polonium
Doctoral students: André-Louis Debierne Óscar Moreno Marguerite Perey Émile Henriot
Known for: Radioactivity, Polonium, Radium
Awards: Nobel Prize in Physics (1903), Davy Medal (1903), Matteucci Medal (1904), Elliott Cresson Medal (1909), Albert Medal (1910), Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1911), Willard Gibbs Award (1921)
Spouse: Pierre Curie (1859–1906) m. 1895
Children: Irène Joliot-Curie (1897–1956), Ève Curie (1904–2007)


  • Marie Curie (born Maria Sklodowska; November 7, 1867-July 4, 1934) was a chmist of Polish upbringing and, subsequently, French citizenship.
  • She was the pioneer in the field of radioactivity, the first twice-honoured Noble laurate (and still the only one in two different sciences) and the first female professor at the University of Paris.
  • She was born in Warsaw, Congress Poland, Russian Empire, and lived there until she was 24.
  • In 1891 she followed her elder sister to study in Paris, where she obtained her higher degrees and conducted her scientific work.
  • She founded the Curie Institutes in Paris and Warsaw.
  • She was the wife of fellow Nobel-laureate Pierre Curie and the mother of a third Nobel laureate, Irene, Joliot-Curie.
  • While an actively loyal French citizen, she never lost her sense of Polish identity.
  • Madam Curie named the first new chemical element that she discovered polonium for her native country.
  • Maria Sklodowska was born in Warsaw to Polish parents, Bronislawa and Wlayslaw Sklodowski, both of whom were teachers and instilled in their children a sense of the value of learning. She was a teacher of mathematics and physics.
  • Maria was the youngest of five children. At age sixteen she graduated from a Russian lyceum at the top of her class, winning a gold medal on completion of her secondary education there.
  • Her father having lost his savings through bad investments, Maria had to take work as teacher while attending Warsaw’s illegal Polish Floating University.
  • At age 18 she took a post as a governess, were she experienced an unhappy love affair. From her earnings she supported her elder sister Bronislawa, who was studying medicine in Paris, on the understanding that Bronislawa would in turn later help Maria get an education.  Eventually in 1891 Maria went to join her sister in Paris.
  • At the University of Paris, Sklodowska studied mathematics, physics and chemistry. (Later, in 1909, she would become that University’s first female professor, when she was named to her late husband’s chair in physics, which he had held late husband’s chair in physics, which he had held for only a year and a half before his tragic death.)
  • In 1903, under the supervision of Henri Bequerel, she received her DSc from the University of Paris, becoming the first woman in France to complete a doctorate.
  • At the University of Paris, also, she met and married Pierre Curie. At the time, Pierre Curie was an instructor in the School of Physics and Chemistry, the Ecole Superieure de Physique et de Chirnie Industrielles de la Ville de Paris (ESPCI).
  • Marie begun her scientific career in Paris with an Investigation of the magnetic properties of various steels; it was their mutual interest in magnetism that drew Sklodowska and Curie together.
  • Eventually they studied radioactive materials, particularly pitchblend, the ore from which uranium was extracted.
  • By April, 1898, Sklodowska-Curie deduced that pitchblend must contain traces of an unknown substance far more radioactive than uranium.
  • In July, 1898, Pierre and Marie together published an article announcing the existence of an element which they named polonium, in honor of her native Poland, then still partitioned among three empires.
  • On December 26, 1898, the Curies announced the existence of a second element, which they named radium for its intense radioactivity- a word that they coined.
  • Over the course of several years of unceasing work in the most difficult physical conditions, they processed several tons of pitchablende, progressively concentrating the radioactive substances and eventually isolating the chloride salts. Polonium was not yet isolated at this time.
  • In 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.
  • Curie was the first woman to awarded a Nobel Prize. Eight years later, she received the 1911  Nobel Prize in Chemistry,”in recognition of her services to the advancement of chemistry by the discovery of the elements radium and polonium, by the isolation of radium and the study of the nature and compounds of this remarkable element”.
  • In an unusual decision, Sklodowska-Curie intentionally refrained from patenting the radium isolation process so that the scientific community could do research unhindered.
  • A month after accepting her 1911 Nobel Prize, she was hospitalized with depression and a kidney ailment.
  • Mary Curie was the first person to win or share two Nobel Prizes. She is only one of only two people who have been awarded a Nobel Prize in two different fields, the other being Linus Pauling.
  • She remains the only woman to have won two Nobel Prizes in two different science fields.
  • On April 19, 1906, Pierre was killed in a street accident as he was leaving a publisher’s office.
  • He had gone there to review proofs f an article, and found the business closed due to strike.
  • Heading back across the street in heavy rain, he was struck by a horse-drawn vehicle and fell under its wheels, frachuring his skull. While it has been speculated he may previously have been weakened by prolonged radiation exposure, it has not been proven that this was the cause of the accident.  Marie was Devastated by her husband’s death.
  • She may subsequently have had an affair with physicist Paul Langevin- a married man who had left his wife-which resulted in a press scandal, exploited by her academic opponents.
  • During World War I, Sklodowska-Curie pushed for the use of mobile radiography units, which came to be popularly known as petites Curies (“Little Curies”), for the treatment of wounded soldiers. These units were powered using tubes of radium emanation, a colorless, radioactive gas given off by radium, later identified as radon.
  • Sklodowska-Curie personally provided the tubes, derived from the radium she purified. Also, promptly after the war started, she donated her and her husband’s gold Nobel Prize medals for the war effort.
  • After World War I, in 1921 and again in 1929, Sklowdowska-Curie toured the United States, where she was welcomed triumphantly, to raise funds for research on radium.
  • Her Second American trip succeeded in equipping the Warsaw Radium Institute, founded in 1925, with her sister Bronislawa as director.
  • In her later years, Sklodowska-Curie headed the Pasteur Institute and a radioactitvity laboratory created for her by the University of Paris. Her work carried out in a shed with no safty measures.  She carried test tubes containing radioactive isotopes in her pocket and stored them in her desk drawer, remarking on the pretty blue-green light the substances gave off in the dark.
  • The Curie’s elder daughter, Irene Joliot-Curie, won a Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1935 for discovering that aluminium could be radioactive and emit neutrons when bombarded with alpha rays.
  • The younger daughter, Eve Curie, wrote the biography, Madame Curie, after her mother’s death.
  • As one of the most famous female scientists to date, Marie Curie has been an icon in the scientific world and has inspired many tributes and recognitions.
  • In 1995, she was the first and only woman laid to rest under the famous dome of the Pantheon, in Paris, on her own merits, alongside her husband.
  • The curie (Symbol Ci), a unit of Radioactivity, is named in their honour, as is the element with atomic number 96-curium.
  • Three radioactive minerals are named after the Curies-curite, sklodowskite, and cupros klodows kite. Pierre and Marie Curie University, the largest science, technology and medicine university in France, and successor institution to the faculty of science at the University of Paris, where she taught, is named in honour of her and Pierre.
  • The university is home to the laboratory where they discovered radium.

In 2007, the Pierre Curie Paris Metro station was renamed the “Pierre et Marie Curie” station.


Marie Curie

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