Marie Curie


In the field of science and research, there have been very famous and recognized people, one of them was Marie Curie , an important scientist who is remembered and recognized for having discovered radium and polonium and for her struggle in the search for different types. of treatments against the cancer .


Personal information

  • When was he born: 11/07/1867
  • Where he was born: Warsaw, Poland
  • When he died: 07/04/1934
  • Where he died: Passy, ​​France

Who was Marie Curie?

Marie Curie was an important chemist and physicist of Polish nationality who managed to receive two Nobel Prizes and who for her role, became an icon of women both in science and in society .

  • Historic context
  • Marie Curie Biography
  • Death
  • Education
  • Contributions of Marie Curie
  • Discoveries
  • Physical characteristics
  • Personality
  • Parents
  • Relations
  • Sons
  • Importance
  • Marie Curie Quotes
  • Acknowledgments
  • Presence in popular culture
  • Curiosities about Marie Curie

Historic context

The historical context takes place in Poland , a country that had experienced several years in crisis, a territory that was also increasingly divided due to the Three Partitions which are between Prussia, Austria and Russia. Another important fact that occurs was that France had influence in Poland and in 1807, the Duchy of Warsaw had been created by Napoleon Bonaparte which was ruled by Frederick Augustus I, King of Saxony.

After Napoleon was defeated, the Congress of Vienna made it possible for Russia to acquire most of Poland and in this situation the Poles were not happy and there were many revolts. This caused that due to the bad economic and social situation a great uprising was made in the year 1830 and due to this the integration of the Polish zarato took place, making Poland a part of the Russian empire.

This situation continued until the First World War when a law was issued allowing the Kingdom of Poland to be re-created . After the war ended, Poland managed to become a Republic . With the arrival of the Third Republic there was a stage that was dominated by progress and this included positivism in which it was established that science was the best and that the scientific method was the key .

Marie Curie Biography

Maria Salomea Sklodowska , better known as Marie Curie, was born in the city of Warsaw located in Poland a certain state always from the year 1867 . She was the youngest of five siblings and her mother died when she was ten years old. He was born and raised in Poland, a country that had been occupied by the military forces of the Russian Empire , however his family always maintained Polish traditions and culture. Despite having had many difficulties, her desire to study never ended, not even the fact that she was a woman, which prevented her from entering a higher education institution, stopped her. She met who would be her husband and together they worked in the field ofchemistry and research .

While she was in Paris in 1891 she decided to change her name to Marie and then she showed great interest in the new discoveries that had been made regarding the types of radiation , in fact she was the first woman to use the word radioactive to make a description of the elements that had the ability to emit radiation .

Upon the death of her husband, who had been appointed professor of physics at the University of Paris and a member of the French Academy, she began to take care of her tasks and research. He managed to win the Nobel Prize twice thanks to his studies and research and later founded the Curie Institute. In 1921 he decided to move to the United States with his family where he continued his work.


Marie Curie died on July 4, 1934 near the city of Salanches in France . The cause of his death was a strange medical disorder in which the spinal cord did not have the ability to produce enough new cells . It is believed that this situation occurred as a consequence of overexposure to radiation and his body was deposited in a coffin that had previously been lined with an inch of lead in the Pantheon in Paris .


As a child, Marie Curie studied at the basic education center in her city. Being a woman, she was unable to enter a good higher institution but was able to start studying at a clandestine university in Poland where women were admitted. Finally, thanks to his savings and the support of his father, he was able to go to France to study. He managed to obtain a degree in the field of physics at the University of Paris and continued training in the field until he managed to obtain his doctorate .

Contributions of Marie Curie

Marie Curie’s cuts to science have been of great importance and were linked to radioactive phenomena . He managed to significantly expand what had already been discovered by Henry Becquerel regarding the radioactivity of the thorium and invented the first portable device of X – rays which worked with an engine gasoline . Thanks to their contributions to their contributions they achieve the birth of the radio industry which would be used to fight cancer.


Among his main discoveries are the following:

  • He discovered radium on December 26, 1898, and realized that this element had powerful radioactivity . Thanks to this important discovery, he managed to understand that radium and polonium had a powerful function to emit rays which could pass through solids, this was beneficial for science since the use of X- rays is fundamental in the field of medicine.
  • He found that thorium also had good radioactivity power just like uranium .
  • He managed to separate a gram of radium chloride from a ton of pitchblende and with this he was able to determine the atomic mass of this new element as well as other of its physical properties.
  • He discovered that radiation could also be used for noble purposes , in this case for the treatment of some diseases . He was able to observe that radiation could destroy malignant cells while keeping cells healthy.
  • He used radon to be able to disinfect wounds .

Physical characteristics

His skin was white, he was of medium height, thin, his hair was black and a little wavy and his nose and mouth were small and well proportioned.


Marie Curie had a fighting personality and never allowed herself to be overcome by physical or personal difficulties. Among the most important qualities of her personality are her incredible intelligence , her great agility , her convictions that assured her at all times that her contributions would bring benefits for humanity and she was a woman who had a great capacity to persevere in the face of all difficulties. . The fact did not stop her at any time and she was always an important struggle to achieve all her goals.


His father was Władysław Skłodowski who worked as a physics and mathematics teacher and his mother the teacher Bronisława Boguska . 


In 1894 she met Pierre Curie who a year later would become her husband and who would be with her during the investigations, supporting her at all times. Her husband died in 1906 in an accident with a horse carriage and in this situation Marie went on to occupy the position that her husband had in the chair of physics at the University of Bribery , thus going on to become the first woman professor that the University had had.


She had two daughters with her husband: Irène Joliot-Curie and Ève Curie .


Marie Curie was a scientist of great importance to the world because she managed to revolutionize the entire field of science and was also the forerunner of radioactivity . Not only was she a pioneering scientist but she also played a very important role during the First World War because with her invention of portable X-rays she managed to create a kind of radiological ambulance saving thousands of soldiers’ lives and in fact for this reason it was the director of the Radiology Service of the Red Cross in France.

Thanks to it, today it is possible that medicine can use radiotherapy, one of the fundamental pillars for the treatment of cancer. Through his discoveries about radioactivity, doctor’s diagnosis, it is possible to update the news and at the same time it was possible to understand what all the dangers that could be suffered from radiation exposure will be. She was a female icon that showed the world that despite being a woman, she was intelligent and capable enough to change the course of medical history.

Marie Curie Quotes

Among his most recognized phrases we mention the following:

  • You should never be afraid of what you are doing when it is right.
  • You will never have me believe that women were made to walk on stilts.
  • I am among those who think that science has great beauty.
  • They taught me that the path of progress was neither quick nor easy.
  • Nothing in life should be feared, it should only be understood. It is time to understand more so that we can have less.
  • Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas.
  • It is important to make a dream of life and the reality of a dream. 


The great importance of Marie Curie can be seen in all the awards and recognitions that were given to her. Many of them were honorary degrees in the fields of science , medicine, and law . In 1903, together with her husband, she received the Nobel Prize in Physics thanks to her important studies regarding spontaneous radiation . Later, in 1911, she was again the recipient of this Nobel Prize in the field of chemistry for all her work on radioactivity .

Another of the awards he received was the Davy Medal , an award given by the Royal Society , this award was given to him in 1903 and later in 1921 he was awarded a gram of radio as a type of recognition for his service to the sciences. On behalf of all American women , this award was presented to her by President Harding of the United States .

Presence in popular culture

Popular culture today it is possible to find the presence of Marie Curie themed movies that were taken to the cinema. Some of them are mentioned below:

  • Radioactive : a biographical film chronicling her life and drawing on the scientific and romantic passions of Marie Curie and her husband.
  • Marie Curie , more than it seems : this was a science fiction short film made for television in 1997 that narrates all the work of the Navy throughout the First World War.
  • Las Palmas : a French film that narrates the life of this important scientist has two very humorous views of her life and her discoveries regarding radioactivity.
  • Marie Curie: the value of knowledge. In this film of the matica that was recorded in 2016, it is a film production that narrates the recognition that the scientific community made to Marie Curie, a community that was dominated by men at the beginning of the 20th century.

Curiosities about Marie Curie

Some of its main curiosities were:

  • Marie Curie was the first woman to receive not one but two Nobel Prizes in the field of physics and chemistry.
  • Because it was difficult for women to study at the time, she had to study at a clandestine university in Warsaw .
  • While in a laboratory at the Municipal School of Physics and Chemistry in Paris, she met her husband with whom she would also share one of her mobile awards.
  • In order to pay for her studies in mathematics, physics, and chemistry, she taught at night and ate bread , butter, and tea.

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