Maria Sklodowska-Curie (born in Warsaw, Poland, on November 7, 1867) was one of the first woman scientists to win worldwide fame, and indeed, one of the great scientists of this century. She had degrees in mathematics and physics. Winner of two Nobel Prizes, for Physics in 1903 and for Chemistry in 1911, she performed pioneering studies with radium and polonium and contributed profoundly to the understanding of radioactivity.
Perhaps the most famous of all women scientists, Maria Sklodowska-Curie is notable for her many firsts:
- She was the first to use the term radioactivity for this phenomenon.
- She was the first woman in Europe to receive her doctorate of science.
- In 1903, she became the first woman to win a Nobel Prize for Physics. The award, jointly awarded to Curie, her husband Pierre, and Henri Becquerel, was for the discovery of radioactivity.
- She was also the first female lecturer, professor and head of Laboratory at the Sorbonne University in Paris (1906).
- In 1911, she won an unprecedented second Nobel Prize (this time in chemistry) for her discovery and isolation of pure radium and radium components. She was the first person ever to receive two Nobel Prizes.
- She was the first mother-Nobel Prize Laureate of daughter-Nobel Prize Laureate. Her oldest daughter Irene Joliot-Curie also won a Nobel Prize for Chemistry (1935).
- She is the first woman which has been laid to rest under the famous dome of the Pantheon in Paris for her own merits.
Until yesterday I did not know she originally was from Poland until I was reading a Polish newspaper.
Happy 145th Birthday Marie Curie! Or as they say in Poland Sto Lot!!