The pioneering Marie Curie was one of the most inspiring scientists of her generation.

During her lifetime she made several exciting discoveries which revolutionised the scientific community earning herself a place in the annals of history. Here we take a look at her life and many great achievements, and explore how her legacy continues to inspire scientists today.

Marie Curie was born in Warsaw in 1867. In 1881, Curie began studying physics and mathematics at the Sorbonne in Paris. She later earned her master’s degree in physics and was subsequently awarded a scholarship to read for a second degree in mathematics.

It was also during her time in Paris that she met another brilliant researcher, by the name of Pierre Curie, who she later married. Together they investigated several key research themes including radioactivity.

She was fascinated by the research of French physicist Henri Becquerel, who studied uranium rays, and being inspired by his work Curie began investigating these mysterious rays herself.

Following extensive research, she concluded that these rays must come from the elements atomic structure, demonstrating that radioactivity is actually an atomic property. It was also Curie herself, who in 1898 coined the term ‘radioactive’.

In 1903, Marie and Pierre were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for physics, along with Henri Becquerel for their work on radioactivity. This saw Curie become the first woman ever to be awarded a Nobel Prize. In the same year, Curie also became the first woman in Europe to be awarded a doctorate in physics.

Her remarkable determination also saw her awarded a second Nobel prize in 1911, this time for her contributions to the field of chemistry following her discovery of the elements Radium and Polonium.

In later years, she also developed several mobile x-ray units which were used by doctors on the front during the First World War to diagnose injuries.

Curie died in 1934 at the age of 66 from a condition known as pernicious anaemia, which likely developed due to her many years of exposure to radiation.

During her lifetime she made many significant scientific breakthroughs, and remains one of, if not the most famous female scientists of all time. Her research continues to inform and inspire scientists today, and, significantly, her achievements not only advanced science, but also women’s place in the scientific world too.

There’s no denying that without the dedication and courage shown by scientists such as Marie Curie, our world would be a much poorer place.

Here at Evolve, we are passionate about science, and are providers of a great selection of high quality scientific laboratory supplies perfect for making a few discoveries of your own. For more information about our range of products and services, please do not hesitate to contact us today, and a member of our knowledgeable team will be happy to assist your with your enquires.

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