Marie Curie Compare and Constrast Essay

This essay has a total of 856 words and 4 pages.

Marie Curie

Marie Curie, or rather Marya Sklodowska, was born in Warsaw on
November 7, 1867. At the time, the Polish capital was occupied by the
Russians, who were seeking to weaken the local elite . Based on the
value of experience and scientific reality, and applied to society, it was
for many intellectuals the path of progress, it was to leave an indelible
mark on Marya. Born into a family of teachers and brought up in an
environment marked by a sense of duty and a lack of money, she led the
most remarkable life. From the premature death of one of her sisters,
and later of her mother, she drew the agnosticism that would later
increase her faith in science. As a brilliant and mature student with a
rare gift of concentration, Marya followed the dream of a scientific
career, a career inconceivable for a woman at that time. But lack of
funds meant she was forced to become a private tutor. She made huge
financial sacrifices so that her sister Bronia could fulfill her wish of
studying medicine in Paris, hopeing that the favor might be returned.
In 1891 Marya arrived in Paris. Ambitious and self-taught, she had
but one obsession, to learn. She passed a physics degree with flying
colors, and went on to sit a mathematics degree. It was then that a Polish
friend introduced her to Pierre Curie, a young man. In 1895 Pierre Curie
acknowledged for his work on crystallography and magnetism, became
her husband.
In her pioneering way, Marie Curie decided, in 1897, to take a
physics doctorate. Henri Becquerel, who was studying X-rays, had
recently observed that uranium salt left an impression on a photographic
plate in spite of its protective envelope. And so his frail wife set about
her work, handling tons of minerals' she noted that another substance,
thorium, was "radioactive", a term she herself had coined. Together, they
demonstrated in a major discovery that radioactivity was not the result of
a chemical reaction but a property of the element or, more specifically,
of the atom. Marie then studied pitchblende, a uranic mineral in which
she measured a much more intense activity than is present in uranium
alone. She found that there were other substances besides uranium that
were very radioactive, such as polonium and radium, which she
discovered in 1898.
Pierre tested radium on his skin. It caused a burn, and then a
wound. Its effect on man was proven. Soon radium was being used to
treat malign tumors, Chemotherapy was born. In 1903, Marie defended
her discovery. Together with Becquerel, the Curies were awarded the
Nobel Prize for Physics for their discovery of natural radioactivity. Their
happiness was short lived. In 1906, Pierre, weakened by radiation and
overworked, was run over by a car. Marie was forced to continue alone.
She took charge of educating her two children; she took up the position
which her husband had finally obtained at the Sorbonne, and then
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