Marie Curie "Obituary" (Assignment Was To Write An Obituary About A Famous Scientist)

1166 words - 5 pages

Sunday, July 8, 1934 - Paris, FranceThis past Wednesday, in a small nursing home in Sancellmoz, the world lost a legend. Marie Curie passed away at the age of 66, due to pernicious anemia - a severe complication due to prolonged exposure to radiation. Her work will forever be a positive influence on the world of science.Marya Sklodowska was born on November 7, 1867 to Ladislas and Bronsitwa Sklodowska, both teachers. The youngest of five, she and the rest of her family lived in Warsaw, Poland. Marya graduated at the top of her high school class at only fifteen years old. She then left her home to be a governess for the Zorawskis. Marya soon fell in love with the eldest Zorawski son, Casimir. They agreed to marry eachother, but his parents objected, claiming he could do much better than a petty governess. She completed her time and hastily sought another position. Within a year of finding another job, her eldest sister Bronya finished medical school and summoned Marya to Paris. In November of 1891, Marya left Poland and registered at the French university, Sorbonne, under the name Marie Sklodowska.The cost of living was very high in Paris, and despite help from her family back home, she lived very humbly, eating a diet of buttered bread and tea, with the occasional egg. She also lived without heat, so she studied at a nearby library until closing. After living on this regimen, Marie became anemic, often fainting during class. Despite her living conditions, Marie graduated first in her class with a degree in physics. In 1894, she received her master's degree, and discovered she had been awarded the Alexandrovitch Scholarship, enabling her to continue her studies for free. Many years after graduating, she became the first to pay back the money. She argued that with that money, another student may be given the same chances she was.Later that year, mutual friends introduced Marie to Pierre Curie. He was thirty-five and she only twenty-seven. The two were inseparable from the moment they met. After marrying in July of 1895, they worked in the laboratory together during the day, and studied together at night. Even the birth of their first child Irene had little effect on their daily routine. Around this time, Marie decided she was going to pursue a doctorate in physics. Her thesis was focused on the source of mysterious rays given off by uranium - a phenomenon scientist Henri Becquerel was studying in 1896. While working on her thesis, Marie made two discoveries that impacted science for years to come: the intensity of the rays given off by the uranium was directly proportional to the amount of uranium in the sample, and nothing she subjected the uranium to affected the rays (exposure to heat, light, cold, etc.). This led her to formulate the theory that something was happening within the individual atom of the element, a property she called 'radioactivity'. She conducted other tests on the mineral pitchblende, which produced higher than expected levels...

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