Life of Marie Curie
The name Marie Curie at once brings to our minds the magic element radium which she, together with her husband, discovered after years of hard work and desperate effort. This great discovery not only gives birth to new science and a modern philosophy but also provided humanity with the means of trending the dreadful diseases known as cancer.
Marie Curie’s childhood
Marie was the youngest child of Professor M.Vladislow Sklodovski. Manya or Marya, as she was then called, was the best-loved in the house. In her childhood, she suffered a great deal because the family, like all other families Poland at the time, was weak and oppressed by the Russian rulers who wanted to crush the independent movement of the Poles. Her eldest sister, who took the place of her mother, who was bed-ridden with tuberculosis, died when Marya was only ten, and her mother followed shortly after. In the spirit of these sorrows and hardship, she showed impressive abilities in the classroom and, at the age of sixteen, reached the end of her school career.
At the age of twenty-four, she set out for Paris to join the University of Sorbonne. In great hardships owing to poverty, Marya obtained two Master’s Degrees, one in Physics and Mathematics. She married the brilliant scientist Pierre Curie. After years of experimenting, they discovered radium. Just when their fame was spreading through the world, they also continued alone, the task that had been begun with him and brilliantly developed the science they had created together.
Her service and Her experiment
She devoted the rest of her life for service to humanity. To the war-wounded, she gave her devotion and service; to her pupils who came from all parts of the world, she gave her advice, her wisdom, and all the hours of her time. Her whole life was one of giving and giving without expecting any reward. And what is more, neither fame nor misfortune could stain the purity of her mind. Einstein sums up her whole character in one sentence – “ Marie Curie is, of all celebrated beings, the only one whom fame has not corrupted. That is why I regard her as my favorite heroine.”
It is only when we realize the value of radium that we can fully appreciate Marie Curie’s excellent service to humanity. The great thing about radium besides its tremendous power is that it will last for even. It will continue to give off light and heat for sixteen hundred years, and even then, it will be one half as powerful as at the start. It will go on like this for twenty thousand years when it will at last change into the standard lead.
Scientists believe that this mysterious metal will be critical to the unknown in science. Through radium, they hope to learn how to change one element into another. It will be exciting and profitable to turn metals into gold. But it would be worth more to man to learn how to get all the power from the atoms to do man’s work.
Today, in every large city, there is a hospital that is supplied with a small amount of radium. The surgeon uses only a tiny bit, perhaps the size of a pinhead, but even that may cost many hundreds of pounds of it is worth a small fortune. These are only a few spoonfuls in all the world. Radium is so scarce, so costly, and so powerful that only men of science dare experiment with it. Eventually, we can say that Marie curie was the greatest scientist in the world.