In 2021, Netflix added the movie Radioactive in your catalogue. Directed by Marjane Satrapi, widely known for Persépolisthe work portrays some of the discoveries of Marie Curiea Polish scientist best known for investigating the field of radioactive matters.
Alongside her husband, Pierre, his brilliant mind and great passion for science made her unravel some mysteries, including the importance of radioactivity in medicine and also its danger to the population.
But Curie was not just a pioneer in her professional field. There are other important milestones throughout her career, especially for the time in which she was involved, that are truly extraordinary.
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In addition to being the first woman to win the prestigious Nobel Prizewas also the first to win it more than once — in 1903 alongside Pierre and in 1911. The scientist was also the first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris.
Want to know more about the scholar’s life, as well as her important contributions to science? Check out more details below!
Marie Curie: from early years to first discoveries
Curie was born in 1867, the daughter of two very important professors in the Warsaw region. Due to the political crises that occurred during his childhood, Wladyslaw Sklodowski, his father, a professor of mathematics and physics, was prevented from continuing to teach in laboratories and ended up taking some of the main technical apparatus to his residence, where his children, especially Marie, spent to be interested in the subjects he taught.
However, due to opinions contrary to the regime at the time, Wladyslaw left his position as a professor and was forced to work in a new position at a lower salary. The country’s political crisis hit the family with a devastating financial crisis. By then, Bronislawa, the matriarch, had died of tuberculosis.
Although they had great aptitude for scientific studies, very motivated by their father, Marie and her sisters could not enter the traditional academic field. However, they enrolled at Warsaw’s underground Volante University, which to some extent admitted women as students. And in 1891, at the age of 24, Marie managed to move to Paris, when invited by her older sister, who was already married.
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From that point on, she got her higher degrees despite numerous financial difficulties and started teaching physics to support herself. Years later, she entered a professional laboratory while still continuing her training at the University of Paris.
It was only from that point that his scientific career truly began, although he always had a latent desire for research in the area. Upon meeting her future husband, Pierre, the two began to develop studies side by side, as their passion for science was the factor that brought them closer together. After proposing to Marie, Pierre decided to move to Poland with her, but she couldn’t get a job in her field just because she was a woman.
Thus, she decided to pursue an academic career in France, managing to enter the doctoral program in physics studies in 1895. And thinking about the contributions of Wilhelm Roentgen and Henri Becquerel at the same time to formulate a new thesis, Curie developed some hypotheses. about uranium rays. Using innovative techniques for her analyses, she managed to make numerous discoveries, including the question of the division of atoms.
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But their studies were not sponsored and the laboratory used was just a shed without any kind of security. Even so, Marie Curie’s work was increasingly impressing Pierre, who decided to become her assistant as time went on. And when thinking about making scientific dissemination, they coined the term “radioactivity” in an article published in December 1898.
Together they managed to postulate their theses and prove their hypotheses in about 32 articles. It is worth noting, however, that some of them were published separately. Therefore, it is correct to say that Marie Curie is the mother of radioactivityas in addition to coining this term, she was also one of the first scientists to think about the subject.
Women in Science: who is writing history these days?
First of all, it is necessary to clarify that the do scientific is linked to several areas, whether in the field of natural elements, such as Marie Curie, and also in the humanities. Leaving an immense legacy for the world, the Polish scholar is very important for her determination to move forward, even with unacceptable impediments.
Certainly, she has become an inspiration for many women who are thinking about dedicating their lives to science. Even, currently, in Brazil, we can cite some successful examples, which investigate, each in their area of training, themes that can provide great contributions.
Thaisa Bergmannfor example, has a PhD in Astrophysics, and studies the role of black holes in the evolution of the universe, also thinking about the representation of these phenomena in popular culture.
Another interesting example is that of Sônia Guimarães, the first black woman to teach at the Instituto Tecnológico da Aeronáutica (ITA), one of the most prestigious institutions in Brazil. In her scientific work, she specialized in component technology, obtaining a doctorate in electronic materials.
Finally, it is also worth mentioning Beatriz Raposo, which studies curious and specific aspects of linguistics. In addition to working with phonology, the scholar also investigates some aspects between speech and singing and how linguistics is articulated in other areas of knowledge.
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