Marie Curie

1867, November 7th – born in Warsaw as Maria Skłodowska, she was her parents’ 5th child. Her parents were both teachers – her father taught physics and math, her mother ran a school for girls.

1877 – her oldest sister died of typhus

1879 – her mother died of tuberculosis. As a result, Marie gave up Catholicism and became an agnostic (one who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God)

1891 – went to Paris to study in Sorbonne (following her sister whom she supported financially for 2 years before that). She studied mathematics, physics and chemistry. She couldn’t study in her motherland because at that time women were not allowed to study in universities.

1893 – got a degree in physics

1894 – got a degree in mathematics, met Pierre Curie, whom she married the following year

1897 – her first daughter, Irene was born

1898 – very fruitful year: published a paper on radioactivity, discovered 2 new elements, which she called “polonium” (in order to honour Poland, then partitioned) and “radium”

1903 – awarded with Nobel Prize in physics (together with her husband)

1904 – her second daughter, Eve was born

1906 – Pierre died in a street accident. Marie was given his position of a professor of physics in Sorbonne, making her the first woman in the world with this achievement

1910-11 – a love affair with married Paul Langevin, she was called a home-wrecker by a press.

1911 – got a Nobel Prize in chemistry for discovering polonium and radium – she was the first woman awarded twice and the only person awarded in two different sciences.

1914 – her insitute was built in Paris

1925 – Radium Institute was built in Warsaw

1934, July 4th – died of leukemia


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