Luxe Beat Magazine MAY 2015 - Page 112

Marie Curie Greatest Female Scientist By Norman Hill M arie Curie is considered to be the greatest female scientist, and perhaps even more significant, the most inspirational female scientist. Her achievements include being the first female to win a Nobel Prize, the first person to win two Nobel Prizes, the only woman to win prestigious awards in two fields, and the only person to win such awards in multiple sciences Her scientific achievements include formulation of a scientific theory of radioactivity. This involved techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes. She isolated two hitherto unknown elements, polonium in 1898 and pure metallic radium in 1910. Curie was born in Poland in 1867. This was a turbulent and difficult period for the people of Poland, who had been deprived of their political identity and freedom for nearly a century. Her family lost most of its wealth, due partly to bad investments and partly due to connections with groups advocating Polish independence. 112 Curie, under her maiden name, Marie Sklodowska, followed her older sister to Paris in 1891. She eventually became a French citizen and resident, although she remained devoted to the country of her birth. She lived to see Poland restored as a sovereign nation after World War I. Perhaps just as well, her 1934 death spared her from witnessing the ravaging of Poland by Hitler during World War II. Curie received a degree in physics from the University of Paris in 1893. This was followed by her second degree in 1894. Around 1894, she met a young Frenchman, Pierre Curie. Their shared interest in natural