There are many scholars of Modern History who have made an incredible and immeasurable contribution to the fast and safe progress of human civilization, and one can safely say that Marie Curie is one of the most influential ones. The scientific community unanimously believes that she is “an icon in the world of modern science,” and they are entirely right (“Marie Curie”). Knowing its scientific impact is crucial for all academic people, including historians. This short research paper will describe the accomplishments and achievements made by Marie Curie in the field of natural sciences.
Marie Curie’s Life Path
Marie Curie was a brilliant scientist and a flagship for many women in science. She was born in a Polish family in the Russian Empire (The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, Marie Curie). Historians claim that she had a natural talent for hard scientific disciplines (The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, Marie Curie). She had difficult adolescence due to her father’s financial problems, and she later moved to France in her adult years, where she met and married Pierre Curie (“Marie Curie the scientist”). Their marriage began a long and productive joint scientific activity, and two Nobel Prizes are proof of this. Unfortunately, it was the object of her lifelong research, radiation, which caused her death at 66.
Marie Curie’s Discoveries
The last five years of the 19th century in the history of chemistry and physics were marked by discovering a new phenomenon of radiation. Curie and her husband made many big discoveries in the field of radiation science. The most significant ones are chemical elements such as radium and polonium (The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, Marie Curie’s Achievements). Curie and her husband achieved this by researching uranium, pitchblende, and their properties. It is noteworthy that “Marie was awarded a second Nobel Prize in Chemistry” for it (Bagley and Leggett). It can rightfully be said that these elements determined the entire historical and political course of the whole 20th century and modern science as a discipline.
Marie Curie’s Other Accomplishments
Radium and polonium are not the only achievements of the scientific and married Curie couple. Marie’s other major accomplishment is that she “succeeded in isolating one-tenth of a gram of radium chloride that was entirely free from barium” (The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, Marie Curie’s Achievements). Moreover, she and André-Louis Debierne were the first to isolate pure radium (The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, Marie Curie’s Achievements). These discoveries were later applied in many scientific segments and technological fields. For example, these have significantly contributed to the progress in nuclear physics and the development of x-ray technology.
This work provides a description of Marie Curie’s scientific contributions to chemistry and physics. Her major discoveries and achievements related to radiation, radioactive, chemical elements, and their properties were listed and explained. Curie was the person who discovered such chemical matters as polonium and radium. Moreover, she was also the first to perform isolating interactions with radium successfully. One has to mention that Marie Curie was not alone in her lifelong research process, and many scholars supported her. They were Pierre Curie and André-Louis Debierne, who were already mentioned above, and Henri Becquerel, another pioneer in the study of radioactivity. The research impact of her, her husband, and colleagues on many academic fields is immeasurable and still influences them.
Bagley, Mary and Jessica Leggett. “Marie Curie: Facts and biography.” Live Science, 2021.
“Marie Curie.” The Nobel Prize.
“Marie Curie the scientist.” Marie Curie.
The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. “Marie Curie.” Encyclopedia Britannica, 2022.
The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. “Marie Curie’s Achievements.” Encyclopedia Britannica.