Useful Notes / Marie Curie

Marie Curie, born Maria Sklodowska, was a Polish and naturalized French physicist and chemist. She was the first of many things: the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person to win twice, the first - and only - person to win in two sciences, the first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris. Born in 1867, she was a pioneer in research on radioactivity.

In 1903, she shared the Nobel Prize for physics with her husband, Pierre Curie, and physicist Henri Becquerel for their work on radiation. She received her second Nobel Prize, this time in chemistry, for her discovery of the elements radium and polonium. These weren't her only notable accomplishments - she also established the first field radiological centres during World War I.

Curie died in 1934 at the age of 66, having developed aplastic anemia due to her exposure to large amounts of radiation because of her work. To this day, her papers are too dangerous to handle. Anyone wanting to consult them must wear protective clothing.

Tropes Associated With Curie:

  • Feminine Women Can Cook: Played straight ironically enough. She quite enjoyed cooking, and was rather proud of some of her recipes, even when an active researcher. For example, this.
    • Her rather nonchalant handling of radium meant that many of her personal papers, including her cookbooks are still radioactive. See here.
  • Humble Hero: She turned down several awards, and insisted that monetary gifts be given to the institutes she was associated with rather than her.
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!": Albert Einstein named her as one of the scientists whom he admired most.
  • Workaholic: She wrote a book during the last year of her life while she was dying of radiation poisoning. She also served as a member of the Commission on Isotopic Abundances and Atomic Weights from 1930 until her death.