Marie Curie


Marie Curie was born in 1867 as Maria Salomea Sklodowska, in a Russian-controlled Warsaw. After her mother’s death, she went to a boarding school, and then left the boarding school for a prestigious, selective school, where she graduated as a top student. As there was no higher education for girls in Poland and no money in Curie’s family, Curie worked as a tutor and attended illegal, underground university lectures until she could afford schooling in Paris. She had to learn French very quickly in order to keep up with the classes at the Sorbonne, which was Paris’ top school. Eventually, she graduated top of her class in master's degree physics. After receiving research funding, she got a second master’s degree, this time in chemistry. When she tried to become a teacher in Poland, she learned that there were still no spaces for women at universities there, and so she returned to Paris. She married another famous scientist in her field, Pierre Curie, and her initial scientific discoveries were all completed with him.

In her work, she discovered that rays of energy cast from uranium allow air to conduct electricity, and that compounds like pitchblende, which make the air even more conductive than uranium, does must contain an element that was, at this point, undiscovered. Through this, she discovered Polonium and Radium. Through observations of the elements she had unearthed, she also discovered radioactivity, the reasons that these elements gave off heat. For the discovery of radioactivity, she shared a Nobel Prize in Physics with her partners, one of which was her husband. This made her the first woman to ever win a Nobel Prize, and she won it only six months after acquiring her Ph.D, in 1903.

When her husband was later killed in a vehicular accident, she was promoted to fill his position, as their Chair of Physics. Naturally, she was the first woman to fill this role. When she finally managed to isolate a sample of radium, she was awarded her second Nobel Prize, this time in Chemistry. In total, she became:

  • The first woman to be a professor at the University of Paris

  • The first woman to win a Nobel Prize

  • The first woman to win the Nobel Prize for Physics

  • The first woman to win the Nobel Prize for Chemistry

  • One of six people/organizations to have won multiple Nobel Prizes

  • The only person to have a Nobel Prize for both Chemistry and Physics

Her death, by aplastic anemia, in 1934, was almost certainly caused by the radioactivity she had exposed herself to in her studies. She was not only impressive for doing all this while being a woman, she is impressive because her scientific achievements have been bested by none. Because she was able to do this in an era where science was hardly open to women only accentuates her greatness. She opened the door for female scientists in the global community and remains one of the most recognized scientists in the world.

Listen to my music-thing, "Marie Curie," at


"Marie Curie." Famous Scientists. 8 Sep. 2014. Web. 4/11/2016

"Marie Curie." A&E Networks Television. Web. 11 Apr. 2016 ,>.

"Marie Curie - Biographical". Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. 11 Apr 2016. <>