Warsaw, Kingdom of Poland, November 7, 1867-Passy, France, July 4, 1934

Physicist and chemist that twice won the Nobel Prize, meritorious achievement for having been achieved by a woman in a male-dominated context.

In 1891 Marie Curie moved to Paris to study Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics at the University of Paris. In 1893 she obtained a degree in Physics and the following year she won another one in Mathematics. In 1895 she married Pierre Curie, a scientist and professor of physics whom she would work with thereafter.

Both investigated radioactivity, a term coined by Marie. She was guided by the scientist Henri Becquerel and conducted experiments that showed the radiation emitted by uranium atoms. The investigations led to the discovery of two new elements: polonium and radium, and the production of 1 decigram of pure radium. The work on radioactivity earned the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903 for the Curies and scientist Becquerel. In the same year Marie earned her doctorate from the University of Paris.

Monument in Lublin, Poland.

Monument in Lublin, Poland.

Pierre Curie died in 1906 and Marie replaced her husband as professor of physics at the Faculty of Science, in fact, she was the first woman to teach at the Sorbonne. In 1910 she published an article on radium and a year later she won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of radium and polonium. She was the first woman to win two Nobel Prizes in different fields of study.

With the recognition obtained in 1911 she founded the Institute of Radium. During the course of World War I she helped equip ambulances with x-ray equipment and from 1922 she was dedicated to the search for medical applications based on radioactivity.

In 1921, the U.S. President gave her 1 gram of radium as a symbolic recognition of her scientific legacy.