Benjamin Rosenbaum

Comments on "Marie Curie: Badass"

It was Pierre who carried around radium in his pocket. But he didn't die from it. He died because he was hit by a military horse-drawn supply wagon while crossing the street.

Marie Curie died of leukemia (as did her also Nobel Prize winning daughter). Leukemia can come from radiation, but most of it probably comes from other things. Most of the radiation Marie Curie received was not from radioactive materials but from x-rays.

Marie Curie invented the first portable x-ray machine and trained hundreds of French nurses in its use. These women, including Marie, were out in the battlefield in the First World War x-raying French soldiers who were to go into immediate surgery. This undoubtedly saved thousands of lives but it exposed the x-rayers to large doses of x-rays because they had no protection and were doing it all day (and night).

X-rays have no connection to radioactivity.


Posted by David at August 29, 2009 11:14 PM

Also, Marie Curie did not discover radioactivity. Radioactivity was discovered by Henri Becquerel in 1896 while working on phosphorescence of Uranium salts. Marie Curie isolated radium, a decay product of uranium from tons of uranium waste.

Pierre Curie did fundamental work on magnetism which is still part of the standard curriculum today.

Posted by David at August 30, 2009 12:18 AM

Thank you for the corrections!

Posted by Benjamin Rosenbaum at September 2, 2009 06:13 AM

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