Essay The Discovery Of Radium And Polonium

1573 Words Oct 3rd, 2016 7 Pages
During an era when women were not known to attend college, let alone, play a major influential role in science, Marie Curie did just that. Born Marie Sklodowska in 1867 in Warsaw, Poland, Marie is best known for discovering the elements radium and polonium, and her study of radioactivity, which led to advances in the treatment of cancer and the development of nuclear power; both of which are still used today. Her work on radioactivity led to her being the first woman to win a Nobel Prize and advancement in the use of x-rays especially in the medical field. In 1903 her and her husband Pierre Curie were jointly awarded, along with Henry Becquerel (a French physicist), the Nobel Prize for physics for the discovery of radioactivity. Marie Curie then received the 1911 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for her discovery of radium and polonium, becoming the first person to win two Noble Prizes. While polonium is scarcely used to today, it did play a major role in World War II. In the United States, polonium was used as part of the Manhattan Project 's Dayton Project during World War II. It was a critical part of the implosion-type nuclear weapon design used in the bomb on Nagasaki in 1945. Polonium was one of the key ingredients of the detonator at the center of the bomb 's spherical plutonium pit. Radium is still used today, mostly for treatment of cancer and as a radiation source for x-ray imaging. In 1891 Marie Sklodowska-Curie went to live with her sister in Paris, France. She…

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