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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index C > Marie Curie Quotes > Radioactivity

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Marie Curie
(7 Nov 1867 - 4 Jul 1934)

Polish-French chemist and physicist whose celebrated experiments (1898) on uranium minerals led to discovery of two new elements: polonium and radium. With Henri Becquerel and her husband, Pierre Curie, she was awarded the 1903 Nobel Prize for Physics. She was then sole winner of a second Nobel Prize in 1911, this time in Chemistry.


Marie Curie Quotes on Radioactivity (4 quotes)

>> Click for 22 Science Quotes by Marie Curie

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My experiments proved that the radiation of uranium compounds ... is an atomic property of the element of uranium. Its intensity is proportional to the quantity of uranium contained in the compound, and depends neither on conditions of chemical combination, nor on external circumstances, such as light or temperature.
... The radiation of thorium has an intensity of the same order as that of uranium, and is, as in the case of uranium, an atomic property of the element.
It was necessary at this point to find a new term to define this new property of matter manifested by the elements of uranium and thorium. I proposed the word radioactivity which has since become generally adopted; the radioactive elements have been called radio elements.
— Marie Curie
In Pierre Curie, with the Autobiographical Notes of Marie Curie, trans. Charlotte and Vernon Kellogg (1923), 96. Also in reprint (2012) 45-46.
Science quotes on:  |  Intensity (17)  |  Nomencalture (3)  |  Property (77)  |  Radiation (19)  |  Radioactivity (24)  |  Thorium (4)  |  Uranium (16)

The various reasons which we have enumerated lead us to believe that the new radio-active substance contains a new element which we propose to give the name of radium.
— Marie Curie
Marie Curie, Pierre Curie and Gustave Bιmont, 'Sur une Nouvelle Substance Fortement Radio-Active, Contenue dans las Pechblende', (On a new, strongly radio-active substance, contained in pitchblende), Comptes Rendus (1898). 127, 1217. In Joseph E. Harmon and Alan G. Gross (editors), The Scientific Literature (2007), 151.
Science quotes on:  |  Discovery (517)  |  Element (106)  |  Radioactivity (24)  |  Radium (18)

We believe the substance we have extracted from pitch-blende contains a metal not yet observed, related to bismuth by its analytical properties. If the existence of this new metal is confirmed we propose to call it polonium, from the name of the original country of one of us.
— Marie Curie
Proceedings of the Academy of Science (18 July 1898). In Eve Curie, Madame Curie (1937, 2007), 161.
Science quotes on:  |  Polonium (5)  |  Radioactivity (24)

When one studies strongly radioactive substances special precautions must be taken if one wishes to be able to take delicate measurements. The various objects used in a chemical laboratory and those used in a chemical laboratory, and those which serve for experiments in physics, become radioactive in a short time and act upon photographic plates through black paper. Dust, the air of the room, and one's clothes all become radioactive.
— Marie Curie
Notebook entry. In Eve Curie, Madame Curie: a Biography by Eve Curie (1937, 2007), 196.
Science quotes on:  |  Apparatus (24)  |  Chemistry (210)  |  Clothes (6)  |  Delicate (9)  |  Equipment (20)  |  Measurement (140)  |  Photography (7)  |  Physics (240)  |  Precaution (3)  |  Radioactivity (24)  |  Special (39)  |  Study (276)


See also:
  • 7 Nov - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Curie's birth.
  • Madame Curie: A Biography, by Eve Curie. - book suggestion.
  • Booklist for Marie Curie.

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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