Maria Sklodowska was born on the 7th November 1867 in Warsaw, to parents; Ladislas and Bronsitwa, who were both teachers. Disaster struck the family when she was eleven, her mother Bronsitwa died from tuberculosis.
Marie worked as a tutor and governess, and studied physics, chemistry and maths alongside her job. In 1891 she moved to Paris to study at the Sorbonne.
In 1893, she had attained her master’s degree in Physics, and Mathematics in 1894, and received a commission to study steel and their magnetic properties.
She shared a lab with French Physicist Pierre Curie, their work complimented each other, and they married.
Marie Curie became fascinated by Henri Becquerel, and his work with uranium in relation to X-Rays by Wilhelm Roentgen. Curie started experiments herself with uranium, taking Becquerel’s thoughts a stage further. She discovered rays from uranium, always remained constant, based on the element’s atomic structure. So the word radioactivity was born to describe the phenomena.
In 1898, with the assistance of her husband, Marie and Pierre Curie had discovered a radioactive element: Polonium along with that of Radium. In 1902, they announced they had produced a decigram of radium.
In 1903 Marie Curie won the Nobel Prize for her work in Physics, along with her husband Pierre and Henri Becquerel for studies in the field of radioactivity.
In 1906 Pierre Curie died in Paris. Despite her grief, she continued his works alongside her own, becoming a Professor at the Sorbonne.
In 1911, Marie Curie won her second Nobel Prize for her works in the field of Chemistry.
At the outbreak of World War One, she championed the use of her portable X-Ray machines for use in the field.
On the 4th July 1934, Marie Curie died at the Sancellemoz Sanatorium in Passy, France from aplastic anemia, caused by prolonged exposure to radium.
Marie Curie made many scientific discoveries in her lifetime, which would benefit man’s future development.
In 1995, Marie and Pierre Curie were interred in the Pantheon in Paris, reserved for France’s greatest minds.
Marie and Pierre achievements continued with their daughter Irene Joliot-Curie born in 1897, who won a Nobel Prize for her work in the field of Chemistry, and shared the honour with husband Frederick Joliot on the study of Synthesis of Radioactive Elements.