Marie & Pierre Curie

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Pierre Curie

  • Pierre Curie was a French physicist who made many breakthrough discoveries in radioactivity, crystallography and magnetism.

  • Some of his contributions to science include: The Curie Point – a temperature level where ferromagnetic substances lost their ferromagnetic behavior, Curie’s Law – the effect of temperature on paramagnetism, demonstrating the electric potential of crystals when compressed, designing an extremely accurate torsion balance for measuring magnetic coefficients and his combined work on radiation, isolating polonium and radium with his wife Marie Curie.
Marie Curie

  • Marie Curie was a chemist and physicist famous for becoming the first person to be awarded two Nobel Prizes. She was brought up in Poland before eventually moving to France and obtaining French citizenship.

  • After French physicist Henri Becquerel first discovered a strange source of energy coming from uranium (radioactivity), Marie Curie decided that this would make a good field for research. With the help of her husband and his vital electrometer, she made numerous scientific discoveries including showing that radiation did indeed come from the atom itself rather than an interaction between molecules.

  • In 1911 Marie Curie was awarded another Nobel Prize, this time in Chemistry, for her discovery of radium and polonium and subsequent research.

  • In 1932 Marie Curie founded the ‘Radium Institute’ in Warsaw, Poland. The name was changed after World War II to the ‘Maria SkÅ‚odowska-Curie Institute of Oncology’. The institute carries out specialized cancer research and treatment.

  • Famous Marie Curie quotes include: “We must not forget that when radium was discovered no one knew that it would prove useful in hospitals. The work was one of pure science. And this is a proof that scientific work must not be considered from the point of view of the direct usefulness of it. It must be done for itself, for the beauty of science, and then there is always the chance that a scientific discovery may become like the radium a benefit for humanity.”

  • “One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done.”

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