Saturday, February 19, 2011

Celebrating Marie Curie

2011 marks the 100th anniversary of Marie Curie's Nobel Prize in Chemistry. So I found this neat little factoids about this amazing scientist.

* Her name at birth was Maria Sklodowska.
* When studying X-rays was the cool thing to do, Curie turned her attention to Becquerel rays, which are emitted from uranium.
* Curie's quest to find other elements that would emit these rays led her to discover the element polonium.
* Polonium was named after Marie Curie's birth country of Poland.
* Curie published a paper about the discovery of polonium, even though she wouldn't have been able to measure its atomic weight with the materials she had.
* She discovered radium in 1898.
* Her husband, Pierre Curie, refused to accept the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903 unless Marie could be included - and then she was.
* The Curies could not attend the Nobel ceremony in 1903 because of poor health; they had been working in a laboratory with deplorable conditions.
* Marie Curie replaced her husband as professor of physics at the Sorbonne in 1906, after he was killed by a horse-drawn wagon.
* In 1911, she won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, becoming the first person to win a Nobel Prize in two categories.

So I didn't know that the Nobel committee actually did consider NOT giving her the Nobel Prize in physics in 1903, based on her husband's insistence that she'd be included.


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