J-L CHARMET / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY J-L CHARMET / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Illustration depicting Marie & Pierre Curie (1867- 1934 & 1859-1906) at work in their laboratory. Marie Curie began studying the radioactive emmissions of uranium shortly after their discovery by Bequerel in 1896. She discovered that some uranium ores were far more active than could be accounted for by their uranium content and concluded that they must contain traces of more radioactive elements. She also showed that thorium was radioactive. By the end of 1898 Curie, working with her husband, had detected two new elements, both highly radioactive, which they named polonium and radium. The Curies were awarded Nobel Prizes in both physics & chemistry for their work.
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