The 7th of November marked 144 years of Marie Curie birth (which many of you may remember, thanks to the “doodle” we could see on Google website) I would start a new section on this humble blog, and talk about a scientist/researcher each month.
In this lovely autumn month of November, I would love to write about Marie Salomea Skłodowska Curie, better known as Marie Curie, which was an exceptional research scientist. An important exponent for science and the scientific-women world.
Without any doubt in that period of time, the scarcity of new technologies, the researches and discoveries made by Curie, deserve our attention and respect.
Not only did Marie Curie studied physics and mathematics (becoming the first and second place in his class, respectively), but also was a visionary in the field of radioactivity. It is also added; being the first person honored with two prestigious Nobel Prize and become the first female professor at the renowned Sorbonne University in Paris.
Is really difficult to summarize her scientific life, as the mere detail deserves special attention. In her biography, she was born in an educated Polish family: her father, a teacher of physics and mathematics, subjects that Curie would have no problem and her mother, who also was a teacher, pianist and singer.
About her academic phase, she obtained a doctorate in the natural radioactivity field, being encouraged especially by her husband, Pierre Curie Professor of Physics. Thus, under the guidelines by the physicist Henri Becquerel, set out to do his doctoral studies on nature of the radiation caused by uranium salts, based on the same previous work by Becquerel.
It should be mentioned that getting 3rd degree studies had only been achieved by another woman, Elsa Neumann, a German scientist, so Marie, became the second in studies of such high rank.
Needless to say her first class at the University of Paris, was received with a lot of curiosity …
Finally, they focused their research on radioactivity emanating from a variety of uranium called pitchblende. Thus, Marie and Pierre came to isolate two new chemical elements: polonium (which is named after Marie’s native country) and radium, both radioactive substances.
The awards came in 1903 with the Nobel Prize in Physics for his research on the processes of radioactivity and in 1910 the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of two elements, polonium and radium.
And to end with this interesting life, I would startle as Marie and Pierre Curie they did not patented the method of isolating radium, so that the entire scientific community could take advantage of it. A selfless attitude that fits with the ideology of science, a very romantic idea, especially in modern times.
The truth is that after observing a border of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Barcelona, dating from 1943 and which are noted only men, I imagine that Marie Curie could not have been an easy journey.
For more information:
Exhibition “Marie Curie, 1867-1934.” Institute of Catalan Studies, Barcelona. From April 6th to December 16th. http://www.iec.cat/