2 3 live&learn&rejoice: Love and Science

January 31, 2011

Love and Science

Marie Curie was the first woman in France to receive a doctorate.  She and her husband Pierre won the Nobel Prize in 1903.  Pierre Curie was run over by a horse carriage and died in 1906.   Marie was then offered Pierre’s professorship at the Sorbonne (her remarks - “I have been named to your chair.  There have been some imbeciles to congratulate me on it.”*).  Marie and one of Pierre’s students, Paul Langevin, fell in love.  He was married.  Scandal ensued.  Marie won the Nobel Prize in 1911, but the scandal was such that she almost didn’t go to Stockholm to receive it.  But she did.  The romance did not last.
Later Paul Langevin developed “the first effective submarine echo-location system - the detection of a hidden presence by its reflection of high frequency sound waves.”*
Marie Curie died in 1934.  She was 77.
Lauren Redniss, Radioactive - Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout (itBooks, Harper Collins 2010)