What is Marie Curie famous for?

12 Facts about Marie Curie that you might not know

  1. Marie kept a sample of radium at her bedside as a night light.
  2. After the death of Pierre Curie, she had a brief affair with one of his students - who was 5 years younger than her!
  3. Albert Einstein wrote Curie a letter of encouragement when she was struggling with public criticism.
  4. Marie Curie was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize, and the ONLY woman to win it twice!
  5. She is also the first person in history to have won Nobel Prizes in two different sciences: Physics in 1903 and Chemistry in 1911.
  6. Marie Curie's daughter, Irène Joliot-Curie became the second woman to win a Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1935
  7. The Curie's laboratory notes and many of their personal belongings as still so radioactive today and cannot be safely viewed or studied. They are kept in lead-lined boxes.
  8. Instead of a bridal gown, Marie wore a dark blue outfit to her civil union with Pierre, which would serve her as a lab coat for many years.
  9. Marie was denied as position at the Polish University of Krakow because she was a woman.
  10. Curie developed x-ray units known as "little curies" which were used to treat over a million soldiers in WWI.
  11. Marie and Pierre did not patent the radium-isolation process because they believed it was for the wider scientific community.
  12. Marie tried to sell her Nobel Prize gold medals to help with WWI efforts, but the French National Bank refused them.

Marie Curie not only contributed to groundbreaking scientific discoveries, but she paved the way for women in a male dominated industry. Find out about our Applied Science courses here: https://www.wlc.ac.uk/courses/science-maths