The genius of Marie Curie - Shohini Ghose
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When war broke out in 1914, Dr. Curie and her daughter Irène helped to equip vans with X-ray technology for medical use, and she herself drove one of the vans, which soldiers called ‘petite Curies’. After the war, she worked for the rest of her career at her Radium Institute, which became a world-leading centre under her leadership. She visited the US twice and in 1921 she received a gift 1 gram of radium, worth a small fortune, from US President Warren Harding on behalf of the women of America. Watch a video of the event here. Dr. Curie’s studies of radioactivity laid the foundations for modern cancer treatment.
The Curie family was truly distinguished. Not only were Pierre and Marie Curie Nobel laureates, but their daughter Irène and son-in-law Frédéric Joliot also shared a Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1935 for their synthesis of new radioactive elements. Their younger daughter Eve wrote a bestselling book about her mother’s extraordinary life. A movie based on the book was released in 1943, but for a slice of real history, watch Dr. Curie at work in her lab here.
Find out more about the elements Radium and Polonium in these TED Ed lessons about these elements.
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