Marie Curie | Biography, Noble Prize and Facts

Marie Curie was a polish-born French physicist. She was the first woman ever to win the Nobel prize in any field. She won the Nobel prize in physics and after that in chemistry. She became the only person to win Nobel Prize twice. Marry curie was famous for her work in the field of radioactivity. In 1906, she became the first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris.

Marie Curie
  • Birth: 07 November, 1867 in Warsaw, Poland.
  • Died: 04 July 1934 (aged 66), in Passy, Haute-Savoie, France
  • Cause of death: Bone marrow failure, possibly myelodysplastic syndrome or aplastic anemia, most likely from exposure to radiation
  • Citizenship: Poland (By Birth), France (By Marriage)
  • Profession: Physicist and Chemist
  • Spouse: Pierre Curie (m. 1895; Died 1906)​
  • Children: Irène, Ève
  • Early life & Education

    Marie Curie was born on 07 November 1867, in Warsaw, Poland. Her birth name was Maria Sklodowska. Both her parents, Bronislawa and Wladyslaw Sklodowski, were teachers. His father was a physics and mathematics instructor. Marie at an early age, developed an interest in mathematics and physics, because of her father. Curie was the youngest of five children of her parents. Zosia, Józef, Bronya and Hela were his elder siblings. When Curie was 10 years old, she lost his mother Bronislawa, to tuberculosis.

    As a child, Curie was a brilliant student and had learned to read and write, but in the 1800s, it was difficult for Curie to attend the male-only University of Warsaw. So, She attended the underground educational establishment known as "floating University". Curie and her elder sister Bronya dreamed of going abroad to earn an official degree, but due to a lack of financial resources, they were not able to pay for more schooling. Curie worked out a deal with her sister: She would work to support Bronya while she was in school, and Bronya would return the favor after she completed her studies. For nearly five years, Curie worked as a tutor and a governess. She educated herself by reading books.

    In 1891, Marie Curie finally attended Sorbonne University and received her master's degree in physics. In the next year, she received her master's degree in mathematics. After completing her master's, she started her scientific career. Later on, she pursued her Ph.D. degree in Paris.

    Early Career

    After her PhD, Marie met scientists Henri Becquerel and Wilhelm Roentgen. She worked for many years with Henri and Wilhelm and was interested in, the X-rays discovered by Roentgen and uranium salt discovered by Becquerel. She started conducting experiments on these discoveries.

    Around 1898, Marie started to work with Pierre Curie. They researched to discover an additional substance that emitted radiation. But one day, Marie noticed something unusual in pitchblende material. She noticed a lot of rays and realized that there was a new, undiscovered element within pitchblende.

    After this Marie started her work with Pierre Curie, to investigate pitchblende and the new element. They spent endless hours in the laboratory. They ultimately concluded that there were two new elements in pitchblende. In 1898, a new element was discovered, which was also radioactive and Marie named it 'polonium' after her homeland Poland. The same year, another element was named 'radium' as it emitted strong rays.

    Marie Curie also played a significant role, during world war I. She discovered that X-rays could help doctors in medical, to know what was wrong with a wounded soldier. After the war, she wrote the book 'Radiology in War'.

    Awards and Honours

    1. For her Discoveries in the field of science, Marie Curie won many awards and received many honors across the world.
    2. Marie Curie won Nobel Prize in Physics, in 1903, with her husband Pierre Curie and Henri Becquerel, for their work on radioactivity with this, she became the first woman to win a Nobel prize in any field. After this, the Curies developed an international reputation in the scientific field.
    3. In 1911, Curie won her second Nobel Prize, this time in Chemistry, for her discovery of radium and polonium, and with this, she became the only person to win the Nobel prize twice. She remains the only person to be honored for accomplishments in two separate sciences. While she received the prize alone, she shared the honor jointly with her late husband in her acceptance lecture.
    4. Marie won Davy Medal in 1903, along with Pierre.
    5. Marie won Matteucci Medal in 1904, with Pierre.
    6. In 1907, Marie won Actonian Prize.
    7. In 1909, Marie won Elliott Cresson Medal.
    8. In 1921, Marie received the Franklin Medal of the American Philosophical Society.
    9. In Poland, Marie received honorary doctorate from the Lwów Polytechnic in 1912.
    10. Marie received an honorary doctorate from, Poznań University in 1922, Kraków's Jagiellonian University in 1924, and the Warsaw Polytechnic in 1926.
    11. In 1920 Marie Curie became the first female member of The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters.
    12. In 1921, Marie was awarded membership in the Iota Sigma Pi women scientists' society in the U.S.
    13. Marie became an Honorary Member of the Polish Chemical Society, in 1924.
    14. In 1995, she became the first woman to be entombed on her own merits in the Panthéon, Paris.
    15. In A poll carried out in 2009, by New Scientist, she was voted the "most inspirational woman in science".
    16. On the occasion of the centenary of Marie's second Nobel Prize, Poland declared 2011 the Year of Marie Curie, and the United Nations declared that this would be the International Year of chemistry. An artistic installation celebrating "Madame Curie" filled the Jacobs Gallery at San Diego's Museum of Contemporary Art.
    17. The New York Academy of sciences, celebrated the centenary of Marie Curie's second Nobel Prize in the presence of Princess Madeleine of Sweden, on 10 December.
    18. Google, on 07 November, celebrated the anniversary of her birth with a special Google Doodle.
    19. In 2015, Marie Curie's 1898 publication with her husband and their collaborator Gustave Bémont of their discovery of radium and polonium was honored by a Citation for Chemical Breakthrough Award from the Division of History of Chemistry of the American Chemical Society presented to the ESPCI Paris.
    20. The element curium with atomic number 96, is named after Marie Curie.
    21. The curie (Ci), a unit of radioactivity, is named in honor of her and Pierre Curie (although the commission which agreed on the name never clearly stated whether the standard was named after Pierre, Marie, or both).
    22. Curite, sklodowskite, and cuprosklodowskite, which are three radioactive minerals are also named after the Curies.
    23. The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions fellowship program of the European Union for young scientists wishing to work in a foreign country is named after her.
    24. A metro station in Paris was renamed to honor both of the Curies in 1907.
    25. Polish nuclear research reactor Maria is named after her.
    26. The 7000 Curie asteroid is also named after Marie Curie.
    27. A KLM McDonnell Douglas MD-11 (registration PH-KCC) is named in her honor.
    28. In 2011, a new Warsaw bridge over the Vistula River was named in her honor. In January 2020, Satellogic, a high-resolution Earth observation imaging, and analytics company launched a ÑuSat type micro-satellite; ÑuSat 8, also known as Marie, was named in her honor.
    29. The Marie-Curie station, a planned underground Réseau express métropolitain station in the borough of Saint-Laurent in Montreal is named in Marie's honor. A nearby road, Avenue Marie Curie, is also named in her honor.


    Marie Curie married a french physicist Pierre Curie on 26 July 1895. They were introduced by a colleague of Marie’s after she graduated from Sorbonne University. They worked together for several years and a romance developed between the brilliant pair, and they became a scientific dynamic duo who were completely devoted to one another. Marie and Pierre welcomed a daughter, Irène in 1897.

    In 1904, The couple had a second daughter, Ève. In 1906, Pierre was killed in Paris after accidentally stepping in front of a horse-drawn wagon. Despite her tremendous grief, she took over his teaching post at the Sorbonne, becoming the institution's first female professor. In 1911, Curie’s relationship with her husband's former student, Paul Langevin, became public.

    Irène Joliot-Curie followed in her mother's footsteps, winning the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1935. Joliot-Curie shared the honor with her husband, Frédéric Joliot, for their work on the synthesis of new radioactive elements.

    Their youngest daughter, Ève Curie wrote the first of many biographies devoted to her famous mother, Madame Curie, in 1937, which became a feature film a few years later.


    Marie Curie died on 04 July 1934, of aplastic anemia, caused by prolonged exposure to radiation. It is believed that she was carrying test tubes of radium around in the pocket of her lab coat. Her many years working with radioactive materials took a bad impact on her health. Curie made many breakthroughs in her lifetime. she received numerous posthumous honors. Several research and educational institutions and medical centers bear the Curie name, including the Curie Institute and Pierre and Marie Curie University (UPMC).

    In 1995, Marie and Pierre's remains were interred in the Panthéon in Paris. Marie became the first and one of only five women to be laid to rest there. The Panthéon hosted an exhibition to honor the 150th birthday of the pioneering scientist in 2017. Marie Curie's lifetime story came on the big screen in 2017 with the title 'Marie Curie: The Courage of Knowledge, featuring Polish actress Karolina Gruszka and Amazon, in 2018, announced the development of another biopic of Curie, with British actress Rosamund Pike in the starring role.