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Marie Curie - Physicist and Chemist



November 7, 1867, Warsaw, Poland, born Marie Sklodowska


July 4, 1934, Savoy, France

Early Influences:

  • Father was a secondary school teacher
  • Decided to leave Poland after becoming involved in a students' revolutionary organization
  • Met and married physicist Pierre Curie in 1894-5


  • General education at local schools
  • Earned degrees in math(1893) and physics(1894) from the Sorbonne, Paris
  • Obtained a doctorate for her thesis on radioactive substances

Major Accomplishments:

  • Found that the strength of the radiation emitted from Uranium was proportional to the Uranium content and constant over time.
  • Discovered that pitchblende contained a radiating element
  • Won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1903 with her husband and Henri Becquerel for the discovery of radioactivity
  • Won a second Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the isolation of pure radium
  • Received the Davy Medal of the Royal Society in 1903


  • Along with her husband and Becquerel, discovered radioactivity
  • Isolated pure radium
  • Worked to develop radioactivity for medical uses
  • Work precursed the splitting of the atom
  • Became the first woman lecturer at the Sorbonne


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