Nuclear Chemistry

Chemistry Inside the Atom

Who was Marie Curie?

Marie Curie was a famous French-Polish scientist, and she was the first person ever to be awarded two Nobel prizes, one in chemistry and the other in physics. She was also the first woman to ever win the Nobel Prize, and remains the only woman to have ever won two Nobel prizes in different fields. Curie was responsible for much of the pioneering work in nuclear chemistry during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Much of her work focused on studying radioactive elements, and she discovered radium and polonium. Tragically, it was Curie’s work that also led to her death. During her career, the dangerous effects of radiation were not yet known, so she worked without the same safety precautions that would be taken today. Her death was the result of a condition known as aplastic anemia, brought on by her prolonged exposure to radiation in the laboratory.


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