The two time Nobel Prize winner, Marie Curie wasn’t of the uncaring lot. She wholeheartedly pitched in when World War I broke out and in 1914, she arranged a fleet of vehicles to carry portable X ray machines for treating war wounded people. These machines were called Petites Curies and helped the doctors to take images of bullets, shrapnel’s inside soldier’s bodies as well as images of broken ribs and bones. In fact she developed all these x ray units herself and this helped in treating about 1 million soldiers in the war.
Though many Marie Curie facts focus only on the scientist’s discoveries and her death by radiation, yet, there are a few that also speak volumes about her selflessness. Once she had made her discovery of radium, 25 years later, the French government paid her a stipend as a mark of respect. However, she stopped using it when she acquired other means of earning her income. It wasn’t just Marie who was selfless, Pierre too was similarly inclined. The couple didn’t even think about patenting the newly discovered radium. Even Einstein praised her for her selflessness saying she was the only one of a kind person who wasn’t corrupt.
13. Marie’s name was not nominated on the list for Nobel Prize in 1903
Though the modern world knows all about the great Marie Curie inventions, but does it also know that her name was not considered for the Nobel Prize for physics in 1903? Well, initially Marie’s name wasn’t nominated in the list for her contributions to physics because no woman before her had ever won the prestigious award. But, on the insistence of her husband Pierre, she made it to the list along with him.
14. She continued her scientific work after her husband’s death
Even after she became a widow, Marie Curie’s quest for scientific experiments didn’t stop. Pierre died in a carriage accident in 1906 and though, devastated as she was, Marie never felt the urge to sit at home weeping about her sad life. Instead, she regained her strength and moved ahead by taking the charge of Pierre’s post that he held in the department of physics. She was the first woman professor at the Sorbonne. Apart from teaching at the university, she also attended the world’s first international convention of chemists and physicists in Belgium, and happened to be the only female attendee.
Marie Curie was born Maria Sklodowska in Warsaw to teacher parents who practiced their own religious faiths. While, her father was an atheist, Marie’s mother was a catholic. Her will power saw her rise above many upheavals but her life also made her agnostic. Her oldest sibling passed away from typhus when she was only nine. Then her mother too died from tuberculosis when she was 11 years of age. All these sad events in her life made her question the existence of god.
A two time Nobel Prize winner and that too in different sciences definitely makes Marie Curie one of the greatest scientists of modern times. She pioneered the researches in physics and chemistry and was also Europe’s first woman ever to get a Ph. D. With many a firsts in her kitty, Curie was also a very selfless person who even tried to sell her Nobel gold prizes for contribution to World War I. We have come to the end of this post on amazing Marie Curie facts and are sure you loved reading them.