“I am one of those who think like Nobel, that humanity will draw more good than evil from new discoveries.”
– Marie Curie
Marie Curie, also known as ‘the mother of modern physics’ was the first and sole female scientist to win a Nobel Prize in two diverse fields of Physics and Chemistry.
Curie was a pioneer in the study of radiation and also discovered the elements of polonium and radium along with her husband Pierre. Upon further research, this dynamic duo propelled exploration by the French physicist Henri Becquerel, who in the year 1896 had uncovered a distinct feature of the element uranium.
Her achievements include a multitude of research, educational and medical centres like the Curie Institute and the Pierre and Marie Curie University (UPMC) etc.
In addition to this, Curie also championed the development of x-rays, using radiation to shrink tumours (effectively giving way to brachytherapy), sterilizing infected tissue and setting up radiology centres to provide aid to military doctors.
Marie Curie’s legacy can be profoundly recognised as a manifestation of the breakthroughs in her lifespan, as a prominent figure in science, a successful role model as a woman and a great educator and researcher.
Still, after more than a century, much of Curie’s belongings, including her clothes, cookbooks, laboratory notes and journals remain highly radioactive. Her laboratory notebooks are considered to be a national and scientific treasure and are stored in lead-lined boxes at France’s Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris.
– Vaanya Vasudeva