The Career And Discoveries Of Madame Curie

1098 words - 5 pages

Madame Curie
Maria Salomea Sklodowska was born on November 7, 1867 in Warsaw, Poland. She is the youngest out of five; Bronislawa, Zosia, Jozef, and Helena. Her parents, Wladyslaw and Bronislawa, were educators who persuaded Maria and her siblings to pursue an education. Her mother was the principal of a local girl school and her father a physics teacher. In 1876, Bronislawa and Zosia got Typhoid fever, which in result caused Zosia death at age 14. In a following death, on May 1878, Maria’s mother dies.

At age ten, Maria began attending the boarding school of J. Sikorska. Two years younger than her pupils, Maria entered the third grade. However, that did not stop Maria’s brilliance; she graduated on June 12, 1883 as top of her class, with a gold medal. After her graduation, Maria sought for a higher education, to attend a University. During this time period though, women were not allowed to enter the University of Warsaw and although Maria’s family did not have money to pay for a tuition aboard, Maria and her sister Bronislawa came up with a plan.

At age 17, Maria left her home as the plan was, and became a governess outside of Warsaw. According to the plan, Maria would save her money for approximately two years, send the money to her sister Bronislawa and for her medical studies in Paris. After those two-three years, Maria would then attend a University for her to pursue a career in chemistry.

In her Governess position, she fell in love with the eldest in the family, a college student, Kazimierz Zorawski. However, the family opposed their love for each other, Kazimierz listened to his family and rejected Maria. Despite the awkwardness within the family, Maria stayed until she fulfilled her commitment until late 1891.

Maria in the same year and perhaps time period, enrolled herself at the University of Paris for classes of chemistry and mathematics. Although she had saved some money for herself, most of the time she did not eat for her wages were barely enough for the tuition and her one bedroom rent. Despite the hunger, her passion for education was not taken for granted. She received a degree in physics, first in her class in 1893.

With her scientific career beginning in Paris, Maria changed her name to Marie. Marie met Pierre Curie at a colleagues house. In 1894, Marie earned a second degree. Later on in 1895, after her friendship with Perrie became love, she married him on July 26 of that same year. Later on in 1897, the first child of the couple, Irene, is born.

Marie Curie discovered, using a Pierre and his brother’s developed version of the electrometer, that uranium rays use the air around a sample to conduct electricity. In 1898 Marie Curie discovered the element thorium to be radioactive, her studies included two uranium minerals: torbernite (chalcocite) and pitchblende. Her research also showed that pitchblende was four times active as uranium and that chalcocite twice as active. That same year, Marie’s husband decides...

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