Legacy | by Brian Koberlein



11 Might 2014

Marie Curie with her children.
Wellcome Library
Marie Curie together with her kids.

Marie Skłodowska-Curie was a pioneer within the examine of radioactivity. She the truth is coined the time period. She developed a way for isolating radioisotopes, and found two parts (radium and polonium). She labored on radiation remedy of tumors, and established navy radiological facilities throughout World Battle I. She is the one particular person ever to have received a Nobel prize in two scientific fields (Physics in 1903, and Chemistry in 1911). She additionally occurred to be the mom of two daughters.

Her youngest daughter, Ève, grew to become a author and journalist. Her eldest daughter Irène grew to become a chemist. Irène’s analysis centered on the construction of the atom, and her analysis found the neutron, which together with the electron and proton had been thought-about elementary particles on the time. She was awarded the Nobel prize in Chemistry in 1935 for her work on the transmutation of parts. By bombarding parts with alpha particles, she was capable of create nitrogen from boron, and later phosphorus from aluminum and silicon from magnesium. Because the ensuing parts had been radioactive, they offered a prepared supply of radioisotopes wanted for drugs and medical analysis.

Irène additionally had two kids. Her son Pierre grew to become a biologist, and her daughter Hélène grew to become a physicist. Hélène is a professor of nuclear physics on the College of Paris, and has continued analysis within the discipline her mom and grandmother helped create. It’s a discipline that has turn into essential to astrophysics, and performs a task in every part from the fusion of parts within the core of a star, to the speed at which a supernova dims. Our understanding of the universe can be significantly diminished had been it not for the work of Marie, Irène, and Hélène.

Marie Curie’s work on radioactivity was a monumental achievement, and thru her daughters and grandchildren she based a legacy of scientists. It’s a legacy price celebrating on Mom’s day, or any day for that matter.

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