THE CURIES AND RADIUM by Elizabeth Rubin


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With interest focused on Marie, the life and work of the Curies is presented in a well-written if conventional biography. Poland, her family, scientific truth and, above all, humanity were the loves of Marie Curie. All of these are traced and developed. When Marie left Poland to study at the Sorbonne, she never dreamed that one day she would be the recipient of the Nobel Prize. Inspired by the experiments of Henri Becquerel, Marie and her husband Pierre set out to isolate the curious radioactive substance they had seen time and again in the masses of pitchblende ore available to them. Their long search resulted in the isolation of two new elements, polonium, a product with four hundred times the radiation of uranium, and radium with nine hundred times that radiation. Neither Marie nor Pierre sought the personal profit that might have been theirs in these discoveries. In the true scientific spirit they gave freely of their work, thus enabling medical science to make rapid use of it and humanity to gain the profit. The basic idealism and determination of the Curies are captured for budding scientists to ponder. Scientific language is suitable for young readers.

Pub Date: Feb. 2nd, 1960
Publisher: Watts