Marie and Pierre Curie

Topics: Radium, Radioactive decay, Marie Curie Pages: 2 (739 words) Published: February 26, 2006
Marie and Pierre Curie

More than hundred years passed since Marie and Pierre Curie won the Nobel Prize for discovering radioactive elements polonium and radium. The scientific world was excited with the newly discovered force of nature, but they soon realized that that the discovery was not the best for human race. They soon learned that the great discovery was a threat to health. Unfortunately, long time went by until their concerns were taken seriously. Marie Curie denied that radiation was bad for health even though everyone around her, who was exposed to radiation, was dyeing from leukemia. "She never fully acknowledged that her work had ruined her health" Marie curie herself was chronically ill and nearly blind from all the exposure to radioactive materials. But she never admitted that that her work led to her poor health. Radioactivity she worked on eventually led her into an early grave at the age of 67. Marie Curie was so fixed on her research that there is no reason to think that she would have stopped her research if she had known the health risks associated with her work. Her daughter and son-in-law, also Nobel Prize winners, continued her experiments with radioactivity and were eventually killed by the diseases caused by radiation. In 1898 Marie and Pierre Curie began to experiment with radiation. Initially they started by studying emissions from various minerals which led them to win a Nobel Prize in 1903 that they shared and another one to Marie alone in 1911. "Their first accomplishment was to show that radioactivity was a property of atoms themselves." For scientists it was the most important of Curies discoveries, because it helped other scientists to understand the atomic structure of matter. "The second, more famous discovery, was the discovery of polonium and radium." The most radioactive element they experimented with was radium, a substance that does not exists free in nature. To study it the Curies spent most of...
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