Marie Curie (Polish Maria Skłodowska-Curie, November 7, 1867 – July 4, 1934) was a Polish chemist, pioneer in the early field of radiology and a two-time Nobel laureate. She also became the first woman ever appointed to teach at the Sorbonne. She was born in Warsaw, Poland and spent her early years there, but in 1891 at age 24 moved to France to study science in Paris. She obtained all her higher degrees and conducted her scientific career there and became a naturalized French citizen. She founded the Curie Institutes in Paris and in Warsaw.
Curie and her husband, Pierre Curie, studied radioactive materials, particularly the uranium pitchblende ore, which had the curious property of being more radioactive than the uranium extracted from it. By 1898 they deduced a logical explanation: that the pitchblende contained traces of some unknown radioactive component which was far more radioactive than uranium; thus on December 26th Marie Curie announced the existence of this new substance.... (Continued...)