Marie Curie is the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person and only woman to win it twice, and the only person to win a Nobel Prize in two different sciences.
Born in Warsaw, Poland in 1867, Marie Curie went to University of Paris to pursue higher education and became the first woman professor there. She became a citizen of France post marriage with Pierre Curie, a French physicist. Together, they conducted pioneering research on radioactivity.
She developed and coined the term 'Radioactivity', techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes, and the discovery of two elements, Polonium (named after her native country, Poland) and 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 Warsaw, which remain major centres of medical research even today. During World War I she developed mobile radiography units to provide X-ray services to field hospitals.
The Curie family has received the most prizes, with four prizes awarded to five individual laureates. Marie Curie received the prizes in Physics (1903) and Chemistry (1911). Her husband, Pierre Curie, shared the 1903 Physics prize with her. Their daughter, Irène Joliot-Curie, received the Chemistry Prize in 1935 together with her husband Frédéric Joliot-Curie. In addition, the husband of Marie Curie's second daughter, Henry Labouisse, was the director of UNICEF when he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in 1965 on that organization's behalf.
Her papers from the 1890s are considered too dangerous to handle because of their levels of radioactive contamination. Even her cookbook is highly radioactive. Her papers are kept in lead-lined boxes, and those who wish to consult them are required to wear protective clothing. In her last year, she worked on a book, Radioactivity, which was published posthumously in 1935.
Marie Curie died in 1934 in France, aged 66, owing to immense exposure to radiation and X-rays. She was interred at the cemetery in Sceaux, alongside her husband Pierre. In 1995, in honor of their achievements, the remains of both were transferred to the Panthéon, Paris. Marie Curie became the first woman to be honored with interment in the Panthéon on her own merits.
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