Marie Curie and the Scientific Discoveries of Radium and Polonium

Marie Curie and the Scientific Discoveries of Radium and Polonium

Biography of Marie Curie

A symbol of scientific progress and an ambassador of cooperation between peoples, genius and absolute intellect, Marie Curie passed her era with determination and stubbornness. Let’s see together the most important moments in his life from his birth to winning two famous Nobel Prizes.

  • November 7, 1867 – Maria Skłodowska Curie was born in Warsaw to a teacher and governess.
  • May 9, 1878 – mother died of tuberculosis
  • 1883 – graduated from the gymnasium with honors, received a gold medal, a symbol of distinction.
  • 1891 – After beginning to study and teach at the Polish Aeronautical University, a secret institute offering courses despite tsarist prohibitions, Marie joins her sister Bronya in Paris and enrolls at the Sorbonne.
  • 1893 – Graduated in Physics
  • 1894 – Graduated in Mathematics and during this year met Pierre Curie
  • July 25, 1895 – Marries Pierre Curie. From this marriage they will then have two beautiful daughters
  • July 18, 1898 – While studying uranite, Marie and Pierre discover polonium, a new element named in honor of the scientist’s home country.
  • December 26, 1898 – The Koreans officially announce the discovery of radium
  • June 25, 1903 – Defense of his doctoral dissertation entitled “Research on Radioactive Substances”.
  • December 10, 1903 – Marie and Pierre Curie receive the Nobel Prize in Physics for their research on radioactive phenomena.
  • April 19, 1906 – Pierre died in Paris, being run over by a carriage
  • November 5, 1906 – Marie gives her inaugural lecture at the Sorbonne, and takes on the role of her deceased husband, the first woman to be appointed professor in Athens.
  • September 5, 1910 – He announced the isolation of pure radium salt.
  • January 23, 1911 – His nomination to the French Academy of Sciences was rejected
  • December 10, 1911 – Received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for isolating radium
  • In 1914 – when World War I began, Marie Curie worked hard to build and operate the special radiology vehicles needed to conduct investigations of wounded corpses at the front. Korean Institute.
  • 1916 – Mary personally goes to combat zones with her daughter to work on radioactive compounds
  • 1917 – Mary begins working full time at her new research institute
  • May 4, 1921 – Mary leaves for the United States on a convention awards tour sponsored by an American journalist.
  • 1929 – He travels again to the United States to raise funds for his research
  • 1932 – Marie attends the founding of the Warsaw Radius Institute
  • July 4, 1934 – The disease that Marie had been carrying for decades worsened and the scientist died of leukemia in a sanatorium in Passy, ​​Haute-Savoie.
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Focus: scientific discoveries

Mary W Pierre Curie They met in the summer of 1894. Between a brilliant young scholar and an established professor eight years his senior, a sympathy immediately arises, fueled by interests with common goals. Only one year passes and they get married. The relationship is then strengthened in the Parisian laboratory rooms where they soon become colleagues, and in 1898 they discover two new elements: poloniumin honor of Mary W.’s birthplace radiodestined for a contradictory global wealth.

These discoveries were a resounding success and focused the attention of researchers and the world at large. The discovery of the ability of uranium salts to darken photographic plates even when placed in a light-opaque casing also happened by chance. This phenomenon has been explained by uranium’s ability to emit radiation with properties similar to those of x-rays discovered by the physicist a few years earlier. Roentgen. Only years later, it was understood that there are also other elements capable of emitting radiation.

Scientific contribution from Marie Curie

At the end of the 19th century, Marie Curie was looking for a topic for her doctoral thesis, and so she decided to delve into Becquerel’s discoveries. He has conducted studies on the light emitted by fluorescent and phosphorescent crystals. They carried out a careful experimental study of some samples of uranium ores. In some cases, they realized that the radiation given off by the minerals was much greater than would be expected based on the uranium content, and thus assumed the presence of other radioactive elements. So they tried to prepare a sample of the same mineral in the laboratory: Al Radioactivitywhich was the name used by the same scientist, was much lower than the name of the natural mineral.

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It was indirect evidence of the presence in the natural mineral of an unknown element with very high radioactivity: to identify it, Curie tried to extract a radioactive substance from large quantities of natural minerals. Also thanks to her husband Pierre who in 1898 was finally able to announce the discovery of a new element which he called poloniumJust in honor of his homeland. Almost immediately after the discovery of polonium, it was discovered radioa new element with properties similar to barium and calcium derives its name from its high radioactivity.

to get to know

Maria Skłodowska-Curie is the only woman to win Two Nobel Prize winners In two different areas of knowledge: chemistry And Physics. Indeed, in 1903 Marie and Pierre jointly with becquerelHe won the Nobel Prize in Physics for his discovery of radioactivity. Thus, Marie Curie became the first woman to receive the Nobel Prize. He was awarded the second prize “for services to the advancement of chemistry by the discovery of the elements radium and polonium, for the isolation of radium, and for the study of the nature and compounds of this extraordinary element.” It was 1911. Thus, Marie Curie became the first person in history to be awarded the Nobel Prize twice.

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