Marie Skłodowska Curie (born Maria Salomea Skłodowska, 7 November 1867 4 July 1934), was a Polish-French physicist and chemist.
She was the first of many things: the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person to win it twice, the first — and only — person to win it in two sciences, and the first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris. To this day she's considered as one of the most important pioneers 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 centers 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 (copies have been made to circumvent this problem).
- Greer Garson played her in the biopic Madame Curie.
- Karolina Gruszka plays her in the 2017 film Marie Curie, The Courage of Knowledge.
- And in 2020, Rosamund Pike plays her in Radioactive.
- Her discovery of radium is one of the historical events you have set right in JumpStart Adventures 3rd Grade: Mystery Mountain.
- In many works of fiction, the fact that she was killed by her own discovery is treated as a kind of ironic morbid gag. This occurs in Enchanted, Portal 2, and numerous episodes of The Big Bang Theory.
- Is one of the members of the Super Science Friends with her possessing nuclear-themed superpowers.
- The Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum episode "I Am Marie Curie" features her when she was a kid.
- In The Simpsons episode "Marge Gets a Job," after Marge gets hired by the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, Lisa compares her parents to the Curies. She then states what they were known for to Homer, concluding by saying they died of radiation poisoning.note Bart then has an Imagine Spot of Kaiju-sized Curies attacking a city.
- Wonder Woman:
- Marie is one of the women featured in the "Wonder Women of History" segments that were included in Golden Age Wonder Woman (1942) comics. The segments were meant to be educational, but as they only had a few pages to describe the lives of historical women tended to streamline things.
- The Holliday Girls' chemist friend Dr. Kurree who is working on a cure to cancer takes her last name from Marie Curie.
- Marie Curie is one of many scientists invited to a symposium in the 200th episode of Murdoch Mysteries, "Staring Blindly into the Future".
- Time Squad: In "Pasteur Packs O' Punch", Louis Pasteur has become famous for inventing Kool-Aid-style fruit drinks which become all the rage, causing him to ignore pasteurizing milk. Otto contacts Marie Curie and helps her invent popsicle sticks. These become more popular than the drinks, leaving Pasteur with no choice but to pasteurize milk.
- Hark! A Vagrant: Marie shows up as a lovable goofball in "Radium Eyes"
- Karolina Żebrowska did a video titled "Marie Curie Answers The Web's Most Searched Questions And Gets Utterly Disappointed". Any time there's a legitimate question about her work her answer gets cut short.
- She's one of the main characters of Super Science Friends, with a radioactive ring giving her a variety of superpowers.
- Zombie Marie Curie appears in xkcd to complain about being treated like the one token lady scientist.
- In an example of the Mandela Effect, a lot of people think that Marie Curie invented or discovered penicillin, and this misconception has made its way into various works of fiction.