look-alikes: Marie Curie

Radioactive
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Marie Curie
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Look-alike makeups: Marie Curie

Marie Skłodowska Curie (born Maria Salomea Skłodowska, 1867–1934) was a Polish and naturalised-French physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person and only woman to win one twice, the only person to win a Nobel Prize in two different sciences, and was part of the Curie family legacy of five Nobel Prizes. She was also the first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris, and in 1995 became the first woman to be entombed on her own merits in the Panthéon in Paris.

She shared the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics with her husband Pierre Curie and with physicist Henri Becquerel. She won the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Her achievements included the development of the theory of radioactivity (a term that she coined), techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes, and the discovery of two elements (polonium & radium). Under her direction, the world’s first studies into the treatment of neoplasms were conducted using radioactive isotopes. She founded the Curie Institutes in Paris and in Warsaw, which remain major centres of medical research today. During World War I, she developed mobile radiography units to provide X-ray services to field hospitals.

Marie Curie died in 1934, aged 66, of aplastic anemia resulting from exposure to radiation: usually said to be caused by exposure to radioactive materials during her scientific research but more probably caused by exposure during her radiological work at field hospitals during World War I.