She was born Maria Sklodowska in Warsaw, Poland on November 7, 1867. She was the fifth and last child of piano player and teacher Bronsilawa Boguska and mathematicsand physics professor, Wladyslaw Sklodowski. Her childhood nickname was Manya. Her father was a freethinker and her mother was a Catholic. She graduated from secondary schoolwhen she was sixteen,receiving a gold medal for her work.At the age of 18 she became a governess, and put her sister, Bronia, through school with the agreement that Bronia would return the favor- and she did.
In 1891 at theage of 24, Sklodowska went to Paris to study mathematics, physics and chemistry at the Sorbonne. She studied fervently, and subsisted almost entirely on bread, butter and tea. During her years thereshe changed the spelling of her name to the French version, Marie.
Marie and Pierre Curie devoted themselves to the study of radioactivity, and were among the first to work with radium and polonium.It was Marie Curie who coined the term radioactivity. Pierre was chiefly concerned with the physical properties of radium and polonium, while Marie worked to isolate radium in its pure state. She andone of Pierre’s students, Mr. Debierne, accomplished this, and Marie received her doctorate in 1903 based on her findings. Also in 1903, the Curies won the Nobel Prize for their work along with Frenchphysicist, Antoine Henri Bacquerel, who had first discovered natural radioactivity.
Irene was born in 1897 and Eve was born in 1904. During their childhoods Marie was a physics instructor at theNormal Superior School for girls in Sévres, France. In 1904 she became chief assistant in Pierre’s laboratory.
In 1906, Pierre Curie, whose health had begun to fail due to the work with radioactivity,was hit by a car and killed. On May 13, she was appointed to fill Pierre’s position and became the first female professor at the Sorbonne.
In 1911 Marie Curie won the Nobel Prize for her achievement…