In News: The 155th birth anniversary of Marie Curie, a name synonymous with one of the earliest examples of women’s successes in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), was celebrated.
- Marie Skłodowska Curie was born on November 7, 1867 in in Russia-occupied Poland.
- She got married in 1895 to Pierre Curie.
- Curie’s death in 1934, at age 66, was likely caused by radiation exposure.
- Curie did her thesis on radiation, which was discovered in uranium by Henri Becquerel.
- First individual to win the Nobel Prize twice in two different fields of science – Physics (1903) and Chemistry(1911) and still is the only individual to receive the prize in two different science categories.
- Nobel prize in Physics (1903): Curie became the 1st woman to win Nobel Prize in Physics when she and her husband discovered polonium.
- It was a new element that was 400 times more radioactive than uranium and was added to the Periodic Table in 1898 (named after Curie’s birth country of Poland).
- Nobel prize in Chemistry (1911): Given to Curie in recognition of her services to the advancement of chemistry by the discovery of the elements radium and polonium, by the isolation of radium and the study of the nature and compounds of this remarkable element.
- Curie discovered an even more radioactive element, radium, and made the discovery that radiation was not dependent on the organisation of atoms at the molecular level but the atom itself. The atom was not, as scientists believed at the time, inert, indivisible, or even solid.
- Curie promoted the use of radium to treat diseases and during World War I and personally volunteered for the work.
- Marie became the first woman to teach at Sorbonne University, Paris.
- More substantially, the doors Curie opened have led to significant increases in the number of women involved in STEM, not by one action but simply through pioneering working in the field at a time when women were thought incapable of possessing intellectual capabilities for working in STEM.
Source: Indian Express