Marie Skłodowska Curie; 7 November 1867 – 4 July 1934) was a Polish and naturalized-French physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person and only woman to win twice, the only person to win twice in multiple sciences, and was part of the Curie family legacy of five Nobel Prizes. She was also the first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris, and in 1995 became the first woman to be entombed on her own merits in the Panthéon in Paris.
She was born Maria Salomea Skłodowska in Warsaw, in what was then the Kingdom of Poland, part of the Russian Empire. She studied at Warsaw's clandestine Floating University and began her practical scientific training in Warsaw. In 1891, aged 24, she followed her older sister Bronisława to study in Paris, where she earned her higher degrees and conducted her subsequent scientific work. She shared the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics with her husband Pierre Curie and with physicist Henri Becquerel. She won the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Her achievements included a theory of radioactivity (a term that she coined, techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes, and the discovery of two elements, polonium and radium. Under her direction, the world's first studies were conducted into the treatment of neoplasms, using radioactive isotopes. She founded the Curie Institutes in Paris and in Warsaw, which remain major centres of medical research today. During World War I, she established the first military field radiological centres.
While a French citizen, Marie Skłodowska Curie (she used both surnames) never lost her sense of Polish identity. She taught her daughters the Polish language and took them on visits to Poland. She named the first chemical element that she discovered – polonium, which she isolated in 1898 – after her native country.
Curie died in 1934, aged 66, at a sanatorium in Sancellemoz (Haute-Savoie), France, due to aplastic anemia brought on by exposure to radiation while carrying test tubes of radium in her pockets during research, and in the course of her service in World War I mobile X-ray units that she had set up.
Awards, honours, and tributes
As one of the most famous female scientists to date, Marie Curie has become an icon in the scientific world and has received tributes from across the globe, even in the realm of pop culture. In a 2009 poll carried out by New Scientist, Marie Curie was voted the "most inspirational woman in science". Curie received 25.1 per cent of all votes cast, nearly twice as
many as second-place Rosalind Franklin (14.2 per cent).
Poland and France declared 2011 the Year of Marie Curie, and the United Nations declared that this would be the International Year of Chemistry. An artistic installation celebrating "Madame Curie" filled the Jacobs Gallery at San Diego's Museum of Contemporary Art. On 7 November, Google celebrated the anniversary of her birth with a special Google Doodle. On 10 December, the New York Academy of Sciences celebrated the centenary of Marie Curie's second Nobel prize in the presence of Princess Madeleine of Sweden.
Marie Curie was the first woman to win a Nobel prize, the first person to win two Nobel Prizes, the only woman to win in two fields, and the only person to win in multiple sciences.Awards that she received include:
· Nobel Prize in Physics (1903)
· Davy Medal (1903, with Pierre)
· Matteucci Medal (1904; with Pierre)
· Actonian Prize (1907)
· Elliott Cresson Medal (1909)
· Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1911)
In 1995, she became the first woman to be entombed on her own merits in the Panthéon, Paris. The curie (symbol Ci), a unit of radioactivity, is named in honour of her and Pierre (although the commission which agreed on the name never clearly stated whether the standard was named after Pierre, Marie or both of them).The element with atomic number 96 was named curium. Three radioactive minerals are also named after the Curies:curite, sklodowskite, and cuprosklodowskite. She received numerous honorary degrees from universities across the world. The Marie Curie Actions fellowship program of the European Union for young scientists wishing to work in a foreign country is named after her. In Poland, she had received honorary doctorates from the Lwów Polytechnic (1912), Poznań University (1922), Kraków's Jagiellonian University (1924), and theWarsaw Polytechnic (1926). In 1921, she was awarded the Iota Sigma Pi National Honorary Member for her significant contribution.
Numerous locations around the world are named after her. In 2007, a metro station in Paris was renamed to honour both of the Curies. Polish nuclear research reactor Maria is named after her. The 7000 Curieasteroid is also named after her. A KLM McDonnell Douglas MD-11 (registration PH-KCC) is named in her honour.
2011 birthplace mural, oncentenary of second Nobel Prize
Several institutions bear her name, starting with the two Curie institutes – the Maria Skłodowska–Curie Institute of Oncology, in Warsaw; and the Institut Curie in Paris. She is the patron of Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, inLublin, founded in 1944; and of Pierre and Marie Curie University (Paris VI), France's pre-eminent science university. In Britain, Marie Curie Cancer Care was organized in 1948 to care for the terminally ill.
Two museums are devoted to Marie Curie. In 1967, the Maria Skłodowska-Curie Museum was established in Warsaw's "New Town", at her birthplace on ulica Freta (Freta Street). Her Paris laboratory is preserved as the Musée Curie, open since 1992.
Several works of art bear her likeness. In 1935, Michalina Mościcka, wife of Polish President Ignacy Mościcki, unveiled a statue of Marie Curie before Warsaw's Radium Institute.During the 1944 Second World War Warsaw Uprisingagainst the Nazi German occupation, the monument was damaged by gunfire; after the war it was decided to leave the bullet marks on the statue and its pedestal. In 1955 Jozef Mazur created a stained glass panel of her, the Maria Skłodowska-Curie Medallion, featured in the University at Buffalo Polish Room.
A number of biographies are devoted to her. In 1938 her daughter, Ève Curie, published Madame Curie. In 1987 Françoise Giroud wrote Marie Curie: A Life.[ In 2005 Barbara Goldsmith wrote Obsessive Genius: The Inner World of Marie Curie. In 2011 Lauren Redniss published Radioactive: Marie and Pierre Curie, a Tale of Love and Fallout .
Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon starred in the 1943 U.S. Oscar-nominated film, Madame Curie, based on her life. More recently, in 1997, a French film about Pierre and Marie Curie was released, Les Palmes de M. Schutz. It was adapted from a play of the same name. In the film, Marie Curie was played by Isabelle Huppert.
Curie is the subject of the play False Assumptions by Lawrence Aronovitch, in which the ghosts of three other female scientists observe events in her life. Curie has also been portrayed by Susan Marie Frontczak in her play Manya: The Living History of Marie Curie, a one-woman show performed in 30 US states and nine countries, by 2014.
Curie's likeness also has appeared on bills, stamps and coins around the world. She was featured on the Polish late-1980s 20,000-złoty banknote[ as well as on the last French 500-franc note, before the franc was replaced by the euro Interestingly, Marie Curie themed postage stamps from Mali, the Republic of Togo, Zambia, and the Republic of Guinea actually show a picture of Susan Marie Frontczak portraying Curie in a 2001 picture by Paul Schroeder.
On the 2011 centenary of Marie Curie's second Nobel Prize (1911), an allegorical mural was painted on the façade of her Warsaw birthplace. It depicts an infant Maria Skłodowska holding a test tube from which emanate the elements that she would discover as an adult: polonium and radium.