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Marie Curie Essays

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MARIE CURIE AND THE STUDY OF RADIOACTIVITY
Marie Curie was born, Maria Sklodowska on November 7, 1867. She grew up in Warsaw, Poland. She would become famous for her research on radioactivity. Marie Curie was the first woman to ever win a Nobel prize, and the first ever to win two Nobel prizes. She is most famous for the discovery of Radium and Polonium. Her work not only influenced the development of fundamental science, but also began a new era in medical research and treatment.
Maria was the last of five children. Her oldest sister died of Typhus, one sister became a teacher and a brother and a sister both became physicians. Her family was not very rich, but education was
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During Marie's time, the atom was thought to be the smallest particle in existence. At first, Marie and Pierre Curie believed that perhaps the atom was covered with cosmic rays. Marie tested numerous elements to find if other ones than Uranium would make the air conduct electricity better.
Pierre was so interested in Marie's work, that he joined forces with her. Her research had revealed that two uranium ores, pitchblende and chalcolite were much more radioactive that pure uranium. Marie concluded that the highly radioactive nature of these ores may possibly be due to undiscovered elements.
In July of 1898, Marie and Pierre Cure discovered Polonium. They named the element after Marie's birth country, Poland. Chemically, this new element was very similar to bismuth, but it contained radioactivity, so it must be new. In December of 1898, the Curie's discovered yet another element. They named this one radium, from the Latin word for ray. The two new elements had completely different chemical properties, but they both had very strong radioactivity.
It was not easy for Marie and Pierre to convince the science community of their new findings. Marie succeeded in separating the radium from the barium, but it wasn't easy. She had to treat very large amounts of pitchblende, but she had plenty of pitchblende to use. (The Curie's
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