Marie Curie Essay

Submitted By ShethP
Words: 964
Pages: 4

Marie Curie

Hello! I’m Marie Curie. I was born on November 7, 1867 in Warsaw, Poland. I was born Marya Salomee Sklodowska, the fifth and youngest child of well-known teachers Bronislawa and Wladysaw Sklodowska. When I was four years old, my older sister taught me the alphabet and I learned how to read. By then, I could even read better than my mother who had originally taught me how to read. My mother operated a small boarding school for girls in Warsaw, and my father was a professor of mathematics and physics. Sometimes my family would rent out rooms to students to help pay the bills. Once, we had ten boys living in the apartment, and I had to sleep on the couch. My mother became very ill with tuberculosis and died when I was very young, ten or twelve years of age. Two years earlier, my oldest sister Zofia had died of typhus. When I graduated from high school, I won a gold medal because I had been such a good student. In order to reward me for working so hard, my father let me spend an entire year in the country with my relatives. I had a marvelous year with my cousins. Unfortunately, when I returned there was no money to send me away to college. My sister Bronislawa, who was two years older than me, and I did private tutoring to earn money. I made a deal with her: I would work to send her to school, and when she became a doctor, she could return the favor. In order to fulfill my half of the deal, I became a governess to a family in the country and also had the opportunity to teach several peasant children to read and write. I fell in love with my employer’s son, a love that was eventually returned, but his parents did not approve of me because I was not rich or good enough to marry their son. My sister invited me to Paris to live and begin my studies. I changed my name to a French name, Marie. At the Sorbonne, the University of Paris, I chose to study mathematics and physics. While studying there I lived in a cold apartment and barely had any food to eat, but it was all worth it. When I graduated I had the highest grades in the class. I had a master’s degree in physics. Then I was awarded a scholarship and was able to study further to get a master’s degree in mathematics. I also later received a doctorate in physics. I met Pierre Curie in 1894, the same year I got my degree in mathematics at the Sorbonne. He was an instructor at the School of Physics and Chemistry. I had begun my scientific career in Paris with an investigation of the magnetic properties of various steels; it was our mutual interest in magnetism that brought Pierre and me together. We married in 1895. With the money a cousin gave her for a wedding present, Marie bought two bicycles, one for herself and one for Pierre. They pedaled through the French countryside on their honeymoon. Pierre and I began experimenting together, and we discovered two new radioactive elements. I named one of them polonium to honor my native country Poland, and the other we named radium. We worked for four years preparing a very small quantity of radium in order to prove there really was such an element. We had to work with a ton of pitchblende uranium ore to accomplish this. The Austrian government had provided the ore, and we only had to pay for transporting it. I worked hard carrying very large jars of liquid during those three years of experimenting. In 1903, Pierre and I, along with Henri Becquerel, received the Nobel Prize in physics for our work and discovery of