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Marie Curie’s birth celebrated by Google doodle

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Search engine honours Nobel prize-winning scientist who was renowned for her pioneering work on radioactivity

The anniversary of the birth of scientist Marie Curie has been celebrated with a Google doodle.

The birth of Nobel prize-winning scientist Marie Curie has being marked by Google with a picture of her at her work bench on the search engine’s home page. The Polish-born physicist and chemist is renowned for her pioneering work on radioactivity and for her important contribution to the fight against cancer.

Curie was born in Warsaw on 7 November 1867, but moved to Paris in 1891 to pursue her studies in mathematics and physics at the Sorbonne. Working alongside her husband Pierre, she is credited with discovering polonium and radium, the former named after the country of her birth. The couple were awarded the Nobel prize for physics in 1903, jointly with Henri Becquerel, the discoverer of radioactivity.

Curie also promoted the use of radium for therapeutic purposes. During the first world war she helped develop small, mobile X-ray units that could be used to diagnose injuries close to the battlefront. As director of the Red Cross radiological service, she toured Paris gathering money, supplies and vehicles. In October 1914 she set off to the front. She worked with there with her daughter Irene, then aged 17, at casualty clearing stations, X-raying wounded soldiers to locate fractures, bullets and shrapnel. She also held training courses in the new techniques for medical orderlies and doctors.

Curie went on to receive a second Nobel prize, this time for chemistry, in 1911.

Curie was a victim of the element she used to help others, dying on 4 July 1934 of pernicious anaemia, developed through years of exposure to radiation. She was the first woman to be interred in the Pantheon in Paris for her own achievements, and was arguably the first woman to make such a significant contribution to science.

Written by physicsgg

November 7, 2011 at 6:58 am