New York, May 6, 2016: Professor Marie Curie (1867-1934) was awarded the Nobel Prize twice.
Her full name was Maria Salomea Sklodowski and she was born in Warsaw, Poland, on Nov. 7, 1867.
Marie Curie is easily one of the most prominent scientists of our times and was born Maria to Skłodowska and was the youngest of five children. Her parents were teachers, a trait that she absorbed and was a great teacher herself. In this picture, Marie Curie is in the center, surrounded by four of her students.
Marie Curie was a bright student but still had to enrol and study in an illegal “floating university” in her childhood as the Czarist Russia had occupied Poland that debarred the women to study at any university. A floating university meant a night school that changed teaching centers to escaper from occupiers.
All of 16, Marie was still big enough to work as a private teacher and after a while even became a governess so that she could support her elder sister Bronya’s medical schooling in Paris. The two had an agreement that later Bronya would return the favour post graduation. After her work, she also spent time teaching children of her employer’s peasants and labourers and when she turned 24, she joined her sister Bronya in Paris and begins her life as a student at the University of Sorbonne.
She married physicist and collaborator Pierre Curie in 1895 and by that time she already held two Master’s degress in Physics and Maths but she also decided to obtain a certificate that allowed her to teach science to young women.
Pic of Husband:
Pierre Curie and Marie Curie were later awarded Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903 for their research on radiation. This was her first Nobel Prize and also showed that the husband and wife were one of the greatest scientists of the age. Marie Curie won another Nobel Prize in 1911 “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”.
Marie Curie’s oldest daughter Irène, along with husband Frederic Joliot discovered artificial radioactivity and were jointly awarded the 1935 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. They won the prize after a year of Marie Curie’s death who died on July 4, 1934.
Sources: Marie Curie and the Science of Radioactivty” by Naomi Pasachoff, online exhibit at the American Institute of Physics:https://www.aip.org/
And nobelprize.org for information and solo pictures.