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July 31, 2013

Essay on Marie Curie

Without including Albert Einstein, Marie Curie was the most prominent scientist of her time and is most definitely the most celebrated feminine scientist in the history.  Even though she is known primarily for her radium discovery her true present was her understanding that radioactivity is an inherent atomic property of matter instead of the result of more phony chemical processes. She was one of the most exceptionally rare Nobel laureates to win the prize not just once but twice in chemistry and physics sector.  Her life will always reflect persistent determination, reliable dedication to work, political firmness and a positive belief in scientific positivism.  On another note, she unfortunately has also come to represent a advisory tale regarding the problems faced when a women enters this field and is successful and she is exposed to a world that is dominated by men. In the beginning she was considered only as a research assistant that was just striving to adapt to this field from her talented Husband Pierre, His death in 1906 encouraged her to create her own scientific indentify and to imply, despite the critics on her position in the annals of the drawing technological age. She was brilliantly successful un this although she paid a personnel price for her impudence.
The life story of Marie Curie was a story of fervor, dedication, aspiration and goals. With her husband Pierre Curie she discovered the radioactivity phenomenon as well as some radioactive elements such as polonium and radium.  Their discoveries shocked everyone, and it became a nightmare as thousands of dangerous products that contained radium starting becoming very common in the market. However, their legacy of the radioactivity discovery made a new way for the modern physics, the study of atom and research on nuclear.  As Marie Curie resided in Russian occupied Poland, she had little access to higher education; Curie had saved a lot of money and had travelled all the way to Paris to attend the famous Sorbonne University. After attaining her doctorate in physics she rose to the ranks of her male competitors and became the first women to win the Nobel Prize twice and in science, in those days only few women were interested in it. Many years later her daughter became the second women to win a Nobel Prize.
Marie Curie ‘s real name was Maria Sklodowska , she was born in Warsaw on November 7 in 1867, and was the daughter of a secondary school teacher. She attained a general education from local schools and little training in science from her father. She was actively involved in revolutionary organizations of students and found it sensible to leave Warsaw, then in the part of Poland that is dominated by Russia, for Cracow, which was under the Austrian rule at that time. In 1891, she went to Paris to continue her studies at the Sorbonne University where she got her licentiateships in mathematical sciences and Physics.  She met her husband, Pierre Curie who was at that time the professor in the school of Physics in 1894, just one year later they were married to each other. She succeeded her husband as the Head in Physics Laboratory at Sorbonne University, got her Doctor of Science degree in 1903. After the death of her husband in 1906 she took his place as professor of general Physics in the team of sciences, this was the first time in history that a woman took this position.
In her childhood Marie Curie amazed many people by her ability to memorize things. She had learned to read at a very young age of four. Her father who was a professor in science, therefore he used various scientific instruments which use to fascinate Marie Curie a lot. She started dreaming of becoming a scientist one day, but that was not an easy goal for her. Over the time her family became very poor, and at the age of 18 she became a governess. She also supported her sister who was studying in Paris. Later on her sister helped her with her education. It was in 1891 when Marie attended the Sorbonne University in Paris.

Marie curie
Marie Curie was a very good and intelligent student. When she finished her school she did not have any choice of continuing her studies in Poland as there were no universities for women. When she worked for a year as a governess, she had planned to go to Paris to join her sister and continue her studies.  She went there solely for her education but ended up getting married and attained high level of education as well.
During 1896, Antoine Henri Becquerel discovered an element known as uranium, which was very well known for its radioactivity. Marie Curie coined the term “radioactivity”. To write her theses on this she thought of basing her research on uranium. By utilizing a electrometer, which was device used to compare the radiations given by various elements and substances, she found out that the radiation is not a result among the various molecules. It was a property inside the atom themselves. In her research, she also discovered that pitchblende, which is one of the ore by which uranium is obtained, had much higher radioactivity than uranium. She believed that pitchblende must have other elements in it that are more radioactive. So she wanted to try to firstly extract these not known substances from a lot of pitchblende.  This included the separation and isolation of these elements from the pitchblende.
Pitchblende was a very valuable ore and a very costly one if it had uranium. However, it was very cheap if uranium was removed from it. This was an advantage for Marie Curie as she used up a lot of it to try to achieve her aim. The conditions they were working on were very tough because they mostly had very little money as they spent it all in buying the equipment and materials required for the experiments. This means that Marie Curie lived in poor housing conditions and sometimes did not have the money to eat also. Her family had even utilized shed as the laboratory to carry out the experiments with the pitchblende.
After her several attempts to split up radioactive elements from the pitchblende, somehow she managed to obtain a teaspoonful from the tons of pitchblende. This teaspoon was found to be thousand times more radioactive than the uranium.  The substance that she was able to extract mainly consisted of two new elements. The first one was called polonium, which Marie named after her home country Poland. The second element was called radium.

Most of her early researches were done with her husband and she performed it under the most difficult conditions. The arrangement of the laboratory was very poor and both of them had to take on a lot of teaching to earn a livelihood. It was the discovery of radioactivity by Henri Becquerel in 1896 that inspired Marie Curie in her outstanding researches and analysis that led to the isolation of polonium and radium. Marie Curie created methods for the separation of radium from the residues that are radioactive in subsequent quantities to allow the characterization of the element as well as the careful study of the properties of the element, therapeutic properties specifically.

Marie Curie in her whole life always promoted the usage of radium to lessen suffering and during the World War 1, by the assistance of her daughter called Irene, she personally dedicated herself to this remedial job. She maintained her enthusiasm for science all through her life and did a lot to create a radioactivity library in her home city. During 1929, the president of America President Hoover gave her a gift of $ 50,000 that was donated by American mates of science, to buy radium for usage in the laboratory in Warsaw.

The era of Marie curie was a time when a lot of things were going on in the world and was related to the discovery of Marie Curie as well. Warsaw was the part in Poland that was ruled by the Russians, who hoped that they could eliminate polish nationalism by keeping the people unaware of their language and culture. In 1914, Germany declared war on France, World War 1 occurred in 1914 in Europe.  The only problem she felt was prominent in the society was the future of culture in the society, other than this she never commented on anything else.  She was responsible for later discovery of X-rays that are widely used in many hospitals and clinics to identify many problems in a patient in a much easier way. Because of her  discovery of X-rays she had helped a lot of people recover from injuries in the World War 1, at that time. All the other scientists use the S-rays knowledge and improved it further into another useful technology such as CAT scan, MRI, and some other rays technology. Marie Curie changed the lives for many people by discovering ink that is now used to write and used in pens or printers and also by discovering radioactivity to help other scientists find radium and polonium.  In honor of Marie Curie, the Marie Curie Breast Care, a unit of radioactivity, the Ci symbol, École élémentaire Marie-Curie ( an elementary school) and Three radioactive minerals named after the Curies (curite, sklodowskite, and cuprosklodowskite.)

Marie Curie was a quiet, distinguished  and unassuming lady, and  is admired by many scientists throughout the world. She was the member of the Conseil du Physique Solvay from 1911 until she died and from 1922 she had been a member of the committee of intellectual Co-operation of the League of Nations. The work done by her is recorded in various numbers of papers in scientific journals and she is also the author of Recherches sur les Substances Radioactives in 1904, L'Isotopie et les Éléments Isotopes and the most famous Traité' de Radioactivité  in 1910.

the importance of works of Marie Curie is reflected by the  number of awards she has got. She received many  medicine , honorary science , law degrees and honorary memberships of learned societies from all around the world. Along with her husband , she was awarded half of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1903 , for their study into the impulsive radiation discovered by Becquerel, who was awarded the other half of it. During 1911 she  received  another Nobel Prize in Chemistry, in the recognition of her work in radioactivity. She also received, along with her husband, the Davy Medal of the Royal Society in 1903.

the last years of Marie Curie were made good by her flourishing collaboration with her two lab assistants, her young son Frédéric Joliot and her daughter Irène.  Just like how she and her husband had combined their personal love and professional dedication, so did Joliot. Irène and Fred not only shared a dedication to research in science but also similar political outlooks as well such as the love for sports.

Just like Pierre Curie, Fred Joliot did not have the flawless academic skills. However, he had graduated first in the engineering class in the Paris Municipal School of Industrial Physics and Chemistry. There he studied under Paul Langevin, the colleague of Curies’ and Marie’s previous love. During 1925, Paul helped Fred at the Radium Institute as an assistant junior to Marie Curie. By this time Irene, who was two and a half year elder to Fred had been awarded her doctorate for the studies of the alpha rays of polonium. Irene won a Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1935, that was a year after Marie Curie died. Her younger daughter had written a biography on her and her name was Eve Curie.

Later on in her life, she was very disappointed by the countless physicians and creators of cosmetics who used radioactive material without the precautions given by her.  Due her  constant exposure to radiation in her profession she got  aplastic harmful anemia. Marie Curie had a very difficult life, and she struggled with many situations in her life. She suffered from solitude, financial discomforts, difficult working conditions, and disrepute which she thought was responsible for making her life miserable. She was brilliant for having a strong dedication of responsibility towards humanity and she had no other objective than being able to work for science without any rules and regulations.

Marie Curie struggled with many aspects of life.  She suffered from loneliness, financial hardship, difficult work conditions, and notoriety which she said "makes life more difficult".  She was remarkable for having a strong sense of duty towards humanity and no other ambition than to be able to work for science freely

Today the whole world mourns the death of  this famous scientist. Marie Curie was diagnosed with a disease caused by the elusive radium that she had dedicated her life to discovering and ultimately separating. Her life can be described as series of inconsistencies; she was usually shy and reserved but because of her discoveries she was usually thrown into the limelight. When she and her husband, Pierre Curie discovered a method to separate radium salts from pitchblende, they decided to share their method freely choosing not to copyright the process. This agreement guaranteed, virtually the life of poverty in terms of scientific research for them. Marie Curie’s belied in Science, her firmness and her strong working ethics allowed her to follow and recognize her dreams.  Her pioneering enthusiasm led the way for the discovery of twenty-nine new radioactive isotopes  in the time period of 1903 to 1912. Her work has affected many people in the world by the use of radioactive principles in the field of medicine, in communication and in technologies that are industrial. Today the institutes of radium in both Warsaw and Paris continue the work Marie and Pierre Curie began. The Marie Curie institutes stand as the living memoir to lives that are filled with dedication to the pursuit of the science field.
Though they succeeded in their experiment in 1898, it took until 1910 for Madame Curie to be able to get radium in its pure state. The Curies also studied the radiations from radium as well as the effect of magnetism on radiations. This is considered to be the groundwork for research in nuclear physics.
The Curies had two daughters, Irene and Eve. In 1906, Pierre Curie died in a street accident. In 1903, they shared the Nobel Prize with Becquerel for Physics. Madame Curie continued her research and was awarded another Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1911. This made her the first scientist to receive two Nobel Prizes and the first woman scientist to ever receive a Nobel Prize. She was also the first woman professor at the Sorbonne University and the first woman to chair the physics department.
During World War I, Madame Curie supported the use of x-ray machines to help injured soldiers. She also donated the gold Nobel Prize medals that she and her husband had received to help the soldiers.
At the time, the dangers of radioactive elements was unknown, so there were no proper measures taken to handle these elements. Until this day, Marie Curie’s notebooks and even cookbook cannot be touched or handled without wearing the proper protective gear. Madame Curie became ill from a blood disease most probably caused by radioactivity.
To honor the hard work and years of contribution of the Curies, a measurement unit of radioactivity was named Curie. In addition, an element called curium was also named after them.


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