04.07.

1934: Marie Curie Dies of Radiation Poisoning

1934: Marie Curie Dies of Radiation Poisoning
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 4 July 1934
  • At that time, of course, is was not yet known that the radioactivity is so dangerous for humans. Marie Curie performed experiments with radioactive materials without any protection. Today, her written legacy is radioactive and considered too dangerous to handle. It is interesting that even her cookbook is highly radioactive.

Marie Skłodowska-Curie, according to many the greatest scientist in history, died on this day.

She is significant for developing a theory of radioactivity (she also coined the term). She was the only woman in history to win two Nobel Prizes (Physics and Chemistry).

Marie Curie received many other honors as well, including honorary doctorates and the French Legion of Honor. According to the words of Albert Einstein, she was probably the only person in history that was not corrupted by fame.

She died on this day at the sanatorium of Sancellemoz in the French Alps, not far from the highest Alpine peak of Mont Blanc, near the Swiss and Italian border.

In a way, she was killed by the job she did during her life. Namely, her death was the result of prolonged exposure to radiation during scientific research.

At that time, of course, is was not yet known that the radioactivity is so dangerous to humans. Marie Curie performed experiments with radioactive materials without any protection.

She even carried test tubes containing radioactive isotopes in her pocket and she stored them in her desk drawer, noting how they glow in the dark.

Today, her written legacy is radioactive and considered too dangerous to handle. It is interesting that even her cookbook is highly radioactive.

Her documents are kept in a lead box and protective clothing is required when handling them.

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