Marie Curie

 
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Died: 4 July 1934, Savoy, France

Born: 7 November 1867, Warsaw, Poland

Marie Curie 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 a Nobel Prize in two different 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. Her achievements included the development of the 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 into the treatment of neoplasms were conducted 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 developed mobile radiography units to provide X-ray services to field hospitals. Marie Curie died in 1934, aged 66, at a sanatorium in Sancellemoz, France, of aplastic anemia from exposure to radiation in the course of her scientific research and in the course of her radiological work at field hospitals during World War I.

Reference: Biography of Marie Curie


Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.
I was taught that the way of progress is neither swift nor easy.
Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas.


Have no fear of perfection; you’ll never reach it.
All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child.
I am among those who think that science has great beauty. A scientist in his laboratory is not only a technician: he is also a child placed before natural phenomena which impress him like a fairy tale. We should not allow it to be believed that all scientific progress can be reduced to mechanisms, machines, gearings, even though such machinery has its own beauty.
Life is not easy for any of us, but what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted in something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.
A scientist in his laboratory is not a mere technician: he is also a child confronting natural phenomena that impress him as though they were fairy tales.
I have no dress except the one I wear every day. If you are going to be kind enough to give me one, please let it be practical and dark so that I can put it on afterwards to go to the laboratory.
It is my earnest desire that some of you should carry on this scientific work and keep for your ambition the determination to make a permanent contribution to science.
I have frequently been questioned, especially by women, of how I could reconcile family life with a scientific career. Well, it has not been easy.
There are sadistic scientists who hurry to hunt down errors instead of establishing the truth.