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Marie Curie (Марія Кюрі)
Born November 7, 1867
Warsaw, Congress Poland
Died July 4, 1934 (aged 66)
Nationality Polish, French
Field Physics and Chemistry
Institutions University of Paris
Alma mater University of Paris and ESPCI
Academic advisor Henri Becquerel
Notable students Andr?-Louis Debierne
Marguerite Catherine Perey
Known for Radioactivity
Notable prizes Nobel Prize for Physics (1903)
Nobel Prize for Chemistry (1911)
The only person to win two Nobel Prizes in different science fields. Married Pierre Curie (1895); their children were Ir?ne Joliot-Curie and ?ve Curie.
4 See also
5 Further reading
8 External links
Maria Sk?odowska-Curie (born Maria Sk?odowska; November 7, 1867 - July 4, 1934) was a physicist and chemist of Polish upbringing and, subsequently, French citizenship. She was a pioneer in the field of radioactivity, the first twice-honored Nobel laureate (and still the only one in two different sciences) and the first female professor at the University of Paris.
She was born in Warsaw, Congress Poland, Russian Empire, and lived there until she was 24. In 1891 she followed her elder sister to study in Paris, where she obtained her higher degrees and conducted her scientific work. She founded the Curie Institutes in Paris and Warsaw. She was the wife of fellow-Nobel-laureate Pierre Curie and the mother of a third Nobel laureate, Ir?ne Joliot-Curie.
While an actively loyal French citizen, she never lost her sense of Polish identity and named the first chemical element that she discovered polonium for her native country.
Maria Sk?odowska's birthplace on ulica Freta (Freta Street) in Warsaw's "New Town."
Maria Sk?odowska was born in Warsaw to Polish parents, Bronis?awa and W?adys?aw Sk?odowski, both of whom were teachers and instilled in their children a sense of the value of learning.
Maria was the youngest of five children: Zofia (born 1862), J?zef (1863), Bronis?awa (1865), Helena (1866) and finally Maria (1867).
Maria's early years were marked by the death of her sister Zofia (from typhus) and, two years later, the death of her mother (tuberculosis). These events caused her to give up her Roman Catholic religion and become an agnostic.
In her youth Sk?odowska showed an exceptional memory and diligent work ethic, and was known to neglect food and even sleep in order to study. At age fifteen she graduated from high school at the top of her class. 
Krakowskie Przedmie?cie 66, near Warsaw's Old Town. At a lab here, Maria Sk?odowska did her first scientific work (1890-91).
Because she was female, and because of Russian reprisals following the Polish 1863 uprising against Tsarist Russia, Sk?odowska was denied admission to a regular university. She worked several years as a private tutor while attending Warsaw's illegal Floating University and helped support her elder sister Bronis?awa, who was studying medicine in Paris. Eventually in 1891, having saved up money earned as a governess, Maria went to join her elder sister in Paris.
Sk?odowska studied mathematics, physics and chemistry at the University of Paris. (Later, in 1909, she would become that University's first female professor, when she was named to her late husband's chair in physics, which he had held for only a year and a half before his tragic death.) In early 1893 she graduated first in her undergraduate class. A year later, also at the University of Paris, she obtained her master's degree in mathematics. In 1903, under the supervision of Henri Becquerel, she received her DSc from the University of Paris, becoming the first woman in France to complete a doctorate.
At the University of Paris, she met and married Pierre Curie. At the time, Pierre Curie was an instructor in the School of Physics and Chemistry ESPCI (?cole Sup?rieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles de la Ville de Paris). Sk?odowska was a student at the University of Paris, and had begun her scientific career in Paris with an investigation of the magnetic properties of various steels; it was their mutual interest in magnetism that drew Sk?odowska and Curie together.
Pierre and Marie Curie in their Paris lab before 1907 (he died in 1906).
Eventually they studied radioactive materials, particularly pitchblende - the ore from which uranium was extracted - which had the curious property of being more radioactive than the uranium extracted from it. By April 1898 Sk?odowska-Curie deduced that pitchblende must contain traces of an unknown substance far more radioactive than uranium. In July 1898 Pierre and Marie together published an article announcing the existence of an element which they named polonium, in honor of Sk?odowska-Curie's native country Poland, then still partitioned among three empires. On December 26, 1898, the Curies announced the existence of a second element, which they named radium, for its intense radioactivity - a word that they coined.
Over the course of several years' unceasing work in the most difficult physical conditions, they processed several tons of pitchblende, progressively concentrating the radioactive substances and eventually isolating the chloride salts (refining radium chloride on April 20, 1902). Polonium was not yet isolated at this time.
One of Maria Sk?odowska-Curie's two Nobel Prize diplomas.
In 1903, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded Pierre Curie, Marie Curie, and Henri Becquerel the Nobel Prize in Physics, "in recognition of the extraordinary services they have rendered by their joint researches on the radiation phenomena discovered by Professor Henri Becquerel."
Curie was the first woman to be awarded a Nobel Prize. Eight years later, she received the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, "in recognition of her services to the advancement of chemistry by the discovery of the elements radium and polonium, by the isolation of radium and the study of the nature and compounds of this remarkable element".
In an unusual decision, Sk?odowska-Curie intentionally refrained from patenting the radium-isolation process, leaving it open so that the scientific community could do research unhindered.
A month after accepting her 1911 Nobel Prize, she was hospitalized with depression and a kidney ailment.
Sk?odowska-Curie was the first person to win or share two Nobel Prizes. She is one of only two people who have been awarded a Nobel Prize in two different fields, the other being Linus Pauling (Chemistry, Peace). She remains the only woman to have won two Nobel Prizes, and the only person to have won Nobel Prizes in two different science fields. Nevertheless, the French Academy ofSciences refused to abandon its prejudice against women, and she failed by one vote to be elected to membership. (Pierre had been elected to the Academy in 1905.)
Do??ga coat-of-arms, hereditary in Sk?odowska's family.
On April 19, 1906, Pierre was killed in a street accident as he was leaving a publishers office. He had gone there to review proofs of an article, and found the business closed due to a strike. Heading back across the street in heavy rain, he was struck by a horse-drawn vehicle and fell under its wheels, fracturing his skull. While it