Madame Marie Curie -

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  • Madame Marie Curie&The Science of RadioactivityBy Claire Goelst

  • Early LifeBorn on November 7, 1867 in Warsaw, PolandGiven name was Marya Sklodowska, but her family and friends called her Little Manya

  • Early Life cont. Her father was a professor of math and physicsHer mother was a pianist, singer, and teacherHer mother died of tuberculosis when Marya was 11

  • SchoolingGraduated high school when she was 15 In 1891 she enrolled at the Sorbonne in Paris as Marie and graduated in 1893

  • Pierre She married Pierre Curie in July 1895

  • Thesis WorkShe decided that her thesis for her doctorate would be on Henri Becquerels mysterious x-rays that are given off by uranium

  • Work with Uranium Discovered that if you have a certain amount of uranium, then you get a certain amount of ray intensity, no matter what you did to the material

  • Uranium ContinuedMarie discovered that there was something going on inside the atom that created the rays, she named this effect radioactivity

  • She discovered that the only known elements that were radioactive were uranium and thorium


  • PoloniumPierre stopped his work on crystals to work with MarieMarie continued her work, but with a different substance, pitchblende

  • Polonium Cont.They called this new substance polonium in honor of Maries homeland

    In July 1898 they extracted a new element that was even more radioactive than uranium

  • RadiumIn January of 1899 another new element was discovered that was over 1 million times more radioactive than uranium, it was named radium

  • Radium ContinuedIn 1910 Marie isolated pure radium metal

    Her major studies showed that radium gave out light and heat, as well as being able to damage living flesh

  • Radium cont.

    In order to obtain one decigram of pure radium chloride salt, Marie had to sift through hundreds of tons of pitchblende

  • Properties of RadiumRadium is silver-white in colorToday it is used in small amounts as a cancer treatment and in fluorescent paint

  • Pierres DeathPierre Curie was killed tragically by a horse-drawn cart in 1906

  • TeachingIt was decided that Marie should take over Pierres teaching job at the Sorbonne in 1906

    This made Marie the 1st woman professor at any French university

  • Paris Radium InstituteIn 1907 Marie convinced the French government to fund a radium research institute, to be used mainly for medical research

  • Health ProblemsMarie believed that working with radium was not a danger to her health, however, doctors today have proven that she was very wrong

  • Health cont. In 1911 Marie collapsed from depression and severe kidney problems that were a result of her long-time exposure to radium

  • Radium Institute cont.In August 1914 the Radium Institute was finished, and named after Maries deceased husband

  • World War IIShortly after the institute was finished, Germany invaded FranceMaries staff was cut short to two people, herself and her daughter Irene

  • World War II cont. Immediately after the War broke out Marie donated all of her money to the War fund, and signed up to be a nurse

  • X-ray MobilesMarie decided that there should be x-ray machines that the war doctors could use on the battle field for soldiers

  • X-ray mobiles cont.Marie created 20 mobile x-ray machines and over 200 stationary machines

  • RadonMarie also invented tiny glass tubes that were filled with radon ( a radioactive gas)

  • Radon cont.Doctors would insert the tubes in patients at spots where the radiation would destroy diseased tissue

  • After the WarAfter the War ended in 1918 Marie spent a lot of time with her two daughters Irene and Eve

  • After the War cont.After two or three years with her daughters she resumed her work with radium at the Paris institute

  • Declining Health

    Marie had been working at the radium institute in good health for almost 12 years

    She began to notice burns on her hands and her failing eyesight somewhere around 1932

  • Late LifeMaries blood had been weakened by her constant exposure to radiumThis caused her to catch aplastic anemia

  • Late Life cont.

    Marie eventually contracted leukemia and died on July 14, 1934

  • AwardsMarie was awarded numerous small awards during her life such as having her picture placed on a stamp!

  • Awards cont.Marie was awarded the Nobel prize in physics in 1903 for her work with X-raysShe was also awarded the Nobel prize in chemistry in 1911 for her work with radium

  • About Me!!!Hi!Im Claire! I like food-all kinds. And I like horses, chickens(yes a little odd I know), and talking!!!!!! Im incredibly tall and I have red hair!!!! I have two sisters and one brother, they are all older than me. I especially like Chinese food and Mac n cheese.

  • BibliographyMarie Curie, Pierre Curie. Scientists: The Lives and Works of 150 Scientists.1996 ed.Tames,Richard.Marie Curie.New York:Franklin Watts Inc.,1989.Stille,Darlene.Extraordinary Women Scientists. Chicago:Childrens Press,1995.Notable Women Scientists.Farmington Hills,MI:the Gale Group,1999.Shriver,Duward. Radium.World Book Encyclopedia. 2003 ed.

  • Bibliography cont.Marie Curie and the Science of Radioactivity. 2000. American Institute of Physics.28 April ,2005Marie Sklodowska-Curie. 30 April,2005.Wikipedia. May 1, 2005.


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