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 Marie Curie the greatest woman scientist

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PostSubject: Marie Curie the greatest woman scientist   Marie Curie the greatest woman scientist EmptyWed Apr 21, 2010 7:54 am

[font:1446=&quot]Marie Curie was probably
the greatest woman scientist in history. In the late 19th and early 20th
centuries her discoveries in a new area of science known as radioactivity made
her famous throughout the world. She would pay a high price for her success.[/font]

[color:1446=#FFC000][font:1446=&quot]MARIE’S EARLY LIFE[/font][/color]

[font:1446=&quot]Marie Curie was born Maria
Sklodowska on November 7, 1867, in Warsaw, Poland, which was then part of the
Russian Empire. Her father was a mathematics and physics teacher. Marie was
interested in science as a child, winning a gold medal at school for her
studies. She found the lack of opportunities for a Polish woman in a
Russian-dominated land very frustrating. After working as a governess in
Warsaw, she moved to Paris when she was 24 to continue her studies. She studied
physics and mathematics at the famous Sorbonne university. In 1894 she met
Pierre Curie, who was also a physicist, and in the following year they married.
Together they began a great partnership of scientific discovery.[/font]

[color:1446=#FFC000][font:1446=&quot]DISCOVERING RADIUM[/font][/color]

[font:1446=&quot]In 1895 the scientific
world was in a state of intense excitement. German scientist Wilhelm Roentgen
had just discovered a new form of radiation, which he called X-rays. The very
next year, French scientist Antoine Henri Becquerel discovered that the
chemical element uranium emitted another new radiation.[/font]

[font:1446=&quot]Marie was interested in
whether other elements emitted this new radiation. She began working on a
naturally occurring black substance called pitchblende, from which uranium is
produced. In 1898 she discovered that pitchblende produced very strong
emissions of radiation, and she called these emissions “radioactive”. Marie
realized that this radioactivity was so strong that it had to be due to the
presence of one or more elements in the pitchblende and not just the uranium.
After a huge effort, she and Pierre collected tiny amounts of two new elements
that were causing the radioactivity: she named them polonium and radium.[/font]

[font:1446=&quot]Many scientists were not
so sure about these discoveries and wanted to see more. In a shed in the
grounds of the physics school where they worked, Marie and Pierre spent four
years collecting 0.1 gram of pure radium and so proved to the world that they
were right.[/font]

[color:1446=#FFC000][font:1446=&quot]GREAT SCIENTIST[/font][/color]

[font:1446=&quot]The world soon recognized
their achievement, and Marie and Pierre, together with Becquerel, were awarded
the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1903 for their work on radioactivity. After
Pierre was killed in a road accident in 1906, Marie devoted herself to her work
on radioactivity as well as teaching at the newly created Pierre Curie
Institute. She was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1911 for
discovering radium. Marie Curie is the first and only person to be awarded two
Nobel Prizes for science.[/font]

[font:1446=&quot]During World War I, Curie
devoted herself to using the controlled radioactivity of radium for medical purposes,
helping develop the technique of radiotherapy to treat some cancers. Her legacy
can be seen in hospitals throughout the world where this is now used. She
strongly believed in the importance of science helping humanity.[/font]

[font:1446=&quot]Because no one knew about
the dangers of radioactivity, Curie had been exposed during her career to
massive doses of radiation. We now know that overexposure can destroy cells in
the human body. She died on July 4, 1934, from leukaemia, almost certainly
caused by the radioactivity of the radium she had discovered.[/font]

[b][font:1446=&quot]Microsoft ®️ Encarta ®️ 2007. ©️
1993-2006 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.[/font][/b]
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