She met Pierre Curie in , and married him in the next year. Marie subsequently gave birth to two daughters Irene and Eve Pierre Curie obtained his doctorate in the year of his marriage, but had already distinguished himself in the study of the properties of crystals. He discovered the phenomenon of piezoelectricity, whereby changes in the volume of certain crystals excite small electric potentials. He discovered that the magnetic susceptibility of paramagnetic materials is inversely proportional to the absolute temperature, and that there exists a critical temperature above which the magnetic properties disappear, this is called the Curie temperature.
Marie Curie was interested in the recent discoveries of radiation, which were made by Wilhelm Roentgen on the discovery of X-rays in , and by Henri Becquerel in , when he discovered uranium gives off similar invisible radiation as the X-rays. Curie thus began studying uranium radiation and made it her doctoral thesis. With the aid of an electrometer built by Pierre, Marie measured the strength of the radiation emitted from uranium compounds and found it proportional to the uranium content, constant over a long period of time and influenced by external conditions.
She detected a similar immutable radiation in the compounds of thorium. While checking these results, she made the discovery that uranium pitchblende and the mineral chalcolite emitted four times as much radiation as their uranium content. She realized that unknown elements, even more radioactive then uranium must be present. Then in she drew the revolutionary conclusion that pitchblende contains a small amount of an unknown radiating element.
They now began the tedious and monumental task of isolating these elements so that their chemical properties could be determined. During the next four years, working in a leaky wooden shed, they processed a ton of pitchblende, laboriously isolating from it a fraction of a gram of radium. In , Marie Curie obtained her doctorate for a thesis on radioactive substances, and with her husband and Henri Becquerel she won the Nobel Prize for physics for the joint discovery of radioactivity.
Finally, the Curies financial aspect was relieved, and the following year Pierre was made the professor at the Sorbonne, and Marie the assistant.
Everything was going well for the Curies, but then Pierre was run over by a horse drawn cart and killed. Marie was deeply affected by his death and overcame this blow only by putting all her energy into her scientific work that they had begun together. Her research for the rest of her life was dedicated to the chemistry of radioactive materials and their medical applications. Take a minute to check out all the enhancements!
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(–). Polish-born French physicist Marie Curie was famous for her work on radioactivity and twice a winner of the Nobel Prize. With Henri Becquerel and her husband, Pierre Curie, she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics. She was the sole winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.
Marie Curie was a Polish-French scientist who won two Nobel prizes. Her work focused on radioactivity, which is a property of some chemical elements. (Radioactive elements give off unending rays of energy.)Curie helped to discover two radioactive elements, polonium and radium. She also successfully isolated, or separated, radium from the rock in which it is found.
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