The Braveheart – Consistent Top student
- Marie and her sister wanted to study more and go to a prestigious University. In Poland, higher education was not available for girls, so they decided to go to Paris. But due to financial uncertainty Marie took up a job as a tutor and a governess which helped Bronya to study medicine in Paris.
- In November 1891, aged 24, Marie followed Bronya to Paris. There she studied chemistry, mathematics and physics at the Sorbonne, Paris’s most prestigious university.
- At first she shared an apartment with Bronya and Bronya’s husband, but the apartment lay an hour away from the university. Marie decided to rent a room in the Latin Quarter, closer to the Sorbonne.This was a time of some hardship for the young scientist; winters in her unheated apartment chilled her to the bone.
- Marie finished as top student in her masters physics degree course at the age of 26.She was then awarded industrial funding to investigate how the composition of steel affected its magnetic properties. The idea was to find ways of making stronger magnets.
- She continued her education and completed a masters degree in chemistry in 1894.
- She worked for a year in Paris on steel magnets. Then she vacationed in Poland, hoping to find work, but couldn’t find any.
- A few years earlier she had been unable to study for a degree in her homeland because she was a woman. Now, for the same reason, she found she could not get any job in her hometown.
- Marie decided to return to Paris and begin a Ph.D. degree in physics.
Her Scientific Discoveries
- 1903- awarded her Ph.D. by the Sorbonne
- Six months later – was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics.
- She shared the prize with Pierre Curie and Henri Becquerel, the original discover of radioactivity.
- Marie Curie was the first woman to be awarded a Nobel Prize.
- Marie was the first female professor at the University of Paris.
- In 1911, she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for the “discovery of the elements radium and polonium, the isolation of radium and the study of the nature and compounds of this remarkable element.” She was the first person to win a Nobel Prize in both physics and chemistry.