Marie Curie - Pioneer of Nuclear Physics

It was Marie Curie's curiosity that set her and husband Pierre on the path to discover two new elements: how was it that an ore could be more radioactive than the Uranium and Thorium it contained? Could the ore house another, more radioactive element?

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Marie Curie - Pioneer of Nuclear Physics

One of our joys was to go into our workroom at night; we then perceived on all sides the feebly luminous silhouettes of the bottles or capsules containing our products. It was really a lovely sight and one always new to us. The glowing tubes looked like faint, fairy lights. - Marie Curie

Madame Marie Skłodowska-Curie wrote the above in 1923, recalling the work that she and husband Pierre Curie did at the turn of the century to isolate radioactive isotopes. It was during this time studying the curious Uranium emissions noticed by Henri Becquerel that she proved that Thorium was also radioactive, a word coined by her. In 1898 the Curies published papers announcing the discoveries of Polonium and Radium. In 1903 Marie shared the Nobel Prize in Physics with her husband and Becquerel, becoming the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, and in 1911, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, becoming the first person to attain a second. She was determined that scientific knowledge should be open and free. "We took no copyright, and published without reserve all the results of our research, as well as the exact processes of the preparation of radium..... This was of great benefit to the radium industry, which could thus develop in full freedom .... and furnish to scientists and to physicians the products which they needed." Although she came to realize some of it, she never really knew the extent of the effect her beloved radiation was having on her own health. She focused the latter part of her life on the application of Radium for medicinal purposes, most notably to treat cancer, and to the focused study of radiation and its effects, directing scientists new to the field.

Marie Curie holds up a flask in the lower right corner of a raspberry babydoll (fitted) t-shirt. Fitted in juniors sizing. Scroll down for detailed view of design. Thanks to your generous support, ThinkGeek made a generous contribution to The Girl Effect as a result of the sales of this shirt its first month of existence. Yay for our customers!

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