Chemistry Paper About Marie Sklodowska Curie, A Famous Scientist Who Discovered The Element Polonium

1020 words - 4 pages

Marie Sklodowska Curie (1867-1934)(based on "Woman in Chemistry and Physics" by Grinstein, Rose, and Rafailovich)Maria Sklodowska was born on November 7, 1867, in Warsaw, Poland. Her father was a professor of physics and mathematics, and the mother was a teacher. Religion and academic success were emphasized in their household. Unfortunately, young Sklodowska showed her first signs of atheism and religion rejection around the beginning of her teenage years.After finishing high school she started her association with young intellectuals who met to discuss the ideas of the positivist philosopher Auguste Comte and other advocates of social reforms. She read everything in the original: Dostoevsky, Marx, as well as the French, German, and Polish poets.In 1891, at the age of 24, Maria went to Paris and became a student at the Faculty of Science of the Sorbonne. In only three years she obtained Licenciateships in Physics and the Mathematical Sciences. During her stay in Paris, Sklodowska met Pierre Curie, who was then laboratory chief at the School of Industrial Physics and Chemistry. He asked her to work on his laboratory.In two years, in July 1895 she married him. In September 1897 Curie gave birth to couples first daughter, Irene.The discovery of radioactivity by Henri Becquerel in 1896 inspired the Curies in their researches and analyses which led to the isolation of polonium in June, 1898, named after her own native country. Four months later the couple was able to confirm the presence of a second element, which tentatively named radium. Four years later, in September 1902, the couple announced the isolation of one-tenth of a gram of radium chloride in its purest form. Awards and recognition followed almost at once. The discovery caught the attention of the scientific world. The experimental results were the major part of Sklodowska Curie's doctoral thesis, which was presented in June 1903 to the Sorbonne and helped her to earn "the degree of Doctor of Physical Science in the University of Paris". She thus became the first woman to be awarded such a degree in France.Sklodowska Curie continued her experimental work. She developed methods for the separation of radium from radioactive residues in sufficient quantities to allow for its characteristics and the careful study of its properties, therapeutic properties in particular. Together with her old collaborator Andre Louis Debierne, she succeeded in isolating pure radium in the metallic state and measuring the rays emitted by polonium. She prepared the first international standard of radium, 21.99 milligrams of pure radium chloride, which served as the model for the standards of five continents.In November 1903 the Royal Society of London awarded the Curies the Humphry Davy Medal. Later, in 1903, Becquerel and Curies were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for their combined discoveries about radioactivity. Sklodowska was the first woman ever to win Nobel Prize. In the same year she prematurely...

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