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Marie Sklodowska-Curie

Person  Female  Born 7/11/1867  Died 4/7/1934

Categories: Science, Seriously Famous

Countries: France, Poland

From LSHTM: "Marie Sklodowska-Curie was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person to win twice, and the only person to win a Nobel Prize in two different sciences: physics and chemistry. As a woman, she was not permitted to attend college in Warsaw, so she did it illegally through a secret Polish institution of higher learning known as the Flying University.  After leaving for Paris where she could study, her work with her husband led to the discovery of polonium and radium. Marie was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903. She went on to win the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1911. Marie was the first woman to teach at Sorbonne University. Her research was crucial in the development of x-rays in surgery, and during WWI she helped equip ambulances with x-ray equipment and used them to triage on the front lines."

Born Warsaw as Maria Salomea Skłodowska. 1891 moved to Paris to study. In 1895 she married French physicist Pierre Curie, and she shared the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics with him and with the physicist Henri Becquerel for their pioneering work developing the theory of "radioactivity"—a term she coined. The couple had 2 daughters. In 1906 Pierre Curie died when he was run over by a heavy horse-drawn cart in a Paris street. Marie died in Passy, France.

Because it is often unclear in reports of her work we went to the Nobel Prize site to get a clear description of who won which Nobel Prize: "Together with her husband, she was awarded half of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1903, for their study into the spontaneous radiation discovered by Becquerel, who was awarded the other half of the Prize. In 1911 she received a second Nobel Prize, this time in Chemistry, in recognition of her work in radioactivity."

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