A Curie for the Cure From the first woman professor to the first woman to receive a nobel prize Marie Curie was able to change the way women were viewed in the science community forever, and was able to be a role model for thousands of women in many years following her death. With her discovery of Radium and the effects of radiation there have been leaps and bounds in the advances towards the cure of cancer and treatments for it. Even with everything against her, Marie Curie was able to be the most impactful women in the history of science because of all of her accomplishments. Maria Sklodowska was born in Warsaw, Poland on November 7th, 1867.
Maria was only eight when tragedy first struck her life, her older sister caught typhus and died. Only three years after that, her mother, Madame Sklodowska, at the age of 42 died after a five year battle with tuberculosis. The only people she still had in her life that she was very close with were her father, Professor Sklodowski, and her siblings Joseph, Bronya and Hela.Marie was the brightest is her class. Her personal losses did not affect her academic life negatively at all. However, when she graduated at the age of 15 she was not allowed to attend the medical school at the University of Warsaw-because they did not allow women- where she wished to get an advanced degree.
She then attended Sorbonne where she quickly realized that was nowhere near as advanced in math, science, and french as her fellow students were. However, she persisted, through hard work and motivation. “Marie finished first in her master’s degree physics course in the summer of 1893 and second in math the following year”(Gingo 2000). Even being as poor as she was, Marie was able to study. One of her professors saw her potential and was able to get her a scholarship to continue studying. That was when she moved to France and met her future husband, Pierre Curie. “In Marie, Pierre found an equal with a comparable devotion to science. They would soon marry and have two daughters” (Gingo 2000).
They worked together in Pierre’s lab, where he gave Marie her own space.Together the Curies work and research with radium would receive a Nobel Prize in 1903. The Curies published in detail all the processes they used to isolate radium, without patenting any of them. Radium was tightly linked with the Curies. Pierre’s pioneering work on the effects of radium on living organisms showed it could damage tissue, and this discovery was put to use against cancer and other diseases.On November 8, 1895, Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen at the University of Würzburg, discovered a new kind of radiation which he called X-rays. It could in time be identified as the short-wave, high frequency counterpart of Hertz’s waves.
The ability of the radiation to pass through opaque material that was impenetrable to ordinary light, naturally created a great sensation. Röntgen himself wrote to a friend that initially, he told no one except his wife about what he was doing. People would say, “Röntgen is out of his mind”.
On January 1, 1896, he mailed his first announcement of the discovery to his colleagues. “… und nun ging der Teufel los” (“and now the Devil was let loose”) he wrote.
His discovery very soon ma