Marie and Pierre Curie

Marie and Pierre Curie

H403/0068

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Caption

Photograph of the physicists Marie and Pierre Curie (1867-1934 and 1859-1906) taken soon after their marriage in Paris in 1895. Marie Curie (born Marya Sklodowska) began studying radioactivity in uranium shortly after its discovery by Bequerel in 1896. She studied the content of uranium ores by measuring their radioactive emissions and showed that thorium was radioactive. Working together they detected two new elements, polonium (named after Marie's native country, Poland) and radium, both highly radioactive. The Curies were awarded the 1903 Nobel Prize for physics for their work. Marie also won the 1911 chemistry prize, five years after Pierre's death in a street accident.

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