Marie Curie: How She Changed The World Forever

Born7th of November, 1867
Died4th of July, 1934
Famous Quote“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood.”
Known ForDiscovering radiation
Region of WorldFrance, Poland
Further ReadingThe Absolute 9 Most Influential Women In History

Curie changed everything. Marie Curie was born in Poland during the late 19th century, a time when women were not allowed to study at the university.

In spite of this Curie would rise to prominence to become the world’s leading radiologist and leave a lasting impact on society. Since then her studies of radiation have helped save millions of people across the world.

The biggest impact Marie Curie has had on the world was the discovery of radiation and its properties. Using this knowledge Curie set up the world’s first radiation treatment centers for soldiers. She taught doctors how to sterilize using radiation along with how to x-ray bones.

Curie’s impact on the world today can’t be understated. Although many know her as the first woman to win a Nobel prize or the first woman to teach at the University of Paris. It is her study of and application of radiation that has forever changed the world today.

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Without further ado, here is how Marie Curie changed the world forever.

Developing Theory of Radioactivity

In 1895 Henri Becquerel noticed that materials that emitted light by themselves also started to emit X-rays. However, he did not fully understand the concept.

Marie Curie would build upon this discovery by extracting uranium from uranium ore. This highly radioactive material caused Marie Curie to dive deeper into why exactly this metal would emit energy.

From this, Marie Curie discovered that certain materials contained energy within them. This energy would slowly decay over time. With this Radiation was finally discovered. Ms. Curie had discovered a form of energy that was capable of being stored in objects!

Further, Marie Curie would go on to discover two new elements. The first she named radium for its naturally radioactive material. The second is called polonium, named after her home country of Poland.

Thus Marie Curie developed the theory of radioactivity. From this stemmed a whole world for science to explore.

Today the effects of Curie’s discovery can be felt across the world.

Using Radioactivity During WW1

One of the greatest things Curie ever did was to create mobile X-ray centers.

After discovering radioactivity Marie Curie would then start experimenting with X-rays in a healthcare setting. She discovered several things. The first was that soldiers could be given an X-ray to discover if their limbs need to be amputated or not.

For Curie, this was a massive discovery. Soldiers could now be operated upon successfully without having to guess if a bone was broken. This was an amazing discovery and directly helped to treat wounded people in France. However, x-ray machines were large and difficult to transport around.

As a result she invented the mobile x-ray unit for hospitals. These were soon called petites Curies or “Little Curies.” The idea behind these mobile X-ray units was that they could be loaded up onto trucks and then driven around the battlefields of World War I.

Curie’s second invention was her “radium emanation” or a needle filled with radioactive gas. In 1915 Curie discovered that radioactive gas could sterilize wounds by killing off bacteria. This healing gas was to be used in treating exposed wounds by destroying any bacteria on the wound before beginning treatment.

This discovery of sanitization by radiation was huge. It is estimated that over 1 million soldiers were treated in WW1 using Curie’s new technologies.

Marie Curie’s Impact Today

While many people know about Curie as the inventor of radiation it is her dedication to the field of healthcare that holds the highest impact.

Every single major medical exam in the world uses Curie’s methodologies of using radiation to examine and treat wounds. Curie started this practice in WWI.

Radiation therapy for cancer patients alone has resulted in Curie’s influence skyrocketing over the past 20 years. Much like Einstein, Marie Curie’s impact has only grown over time as more technologies use her theories.

To this day she is the only person in the history of science to be awarded two Nobel prizes for her efforts.

As a result of Curie’s impact on the healthcare field she is one of the most influential women of all time.


There you have it, an entire article on how Marie Curie changed the world forever.

Millions of people every year are influenced by Curie’s studies and theories. During her lifetime she saved thousands of soldiers during WWI. After her time she has continued to save millions who suffer from cancer and other diseases where radiation is a treatment.

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