Radioactive love storey about Marie and Pierre Curie

Radioactive love storey about Marie and Pierre Curie

Marie Curie and her husband, Pierre, have come together through a mutual love of science and research. They spent their marriage working side-by-side, sharing groundbreaking scientific breakthroughs and the Nobel Prize.

Maria Sklodowska moved to France in 1891 and entered the Sorbonne University in Paris. The Polish physicist and professor, Count Józef Wierusz-Kowalski, introduced her to Pierre Curie.

In reality, Józef had known Marie for some time, supported her through her studies in Warsaw, and invited her to stay when she moved to Paris. He helped her to obtain her place in Sorbonne, too.

First impressions

On her first meeting with Pierre, Marie recalled: “As I entered the room, Pierre Curie was standing in the recess of a French window opening on a balcony. He seemed to me very young, though he was at that time 35 years old.

"I was struck by the open expression of his face and by the slight suggestion of detachment in his whole attitude. His speech, rather slow and deliberate, his simplicity, and his smile, at once grave and youthful, inspired confidence.”

Married in laboratory dress

Within a year, Pierre asked for Marie’s hand in marriage. At the time she did not consider it because she planned to go back to work in Poland.

But when Marie was refused a position at the University of Kraków because she was a woman, Pierre persuaded her to return to Paris.

On July 26, 1895, Pierre and Marie had a civil wedding ceremony in Sceaux. Instead of a wedding dress, Marie preferred a dark blue dress. She explained the following: “I have no dress except the one I wear every day.

"If you are going to be kind enough to give me one, please let it be practical and dark so that I can put it on afterwards to go to the laboratory.”

For their honeymoon, the Curies took a bike tour of the French countryside. There were two daughters, Pierre and Marie, Irene and Eve.

Achieved together

In 1903, the pair, along with Henri Becquerel, received the Noble Prize for Physics for their joint study on radiation. At first, Marie had not been included in the nomination.

But when Pierre found out he complained, and Marie's name was added, making her the first woman to win the Nobel Prize.

Marie’s tribute to Pierre

The disaster of 19 April 1906 hit the family when Pierre was killed. He was struck by a horse-drawn vehicle and collapsed under the wheels.

Marie was saddened, but she was determined to respect him in every way she could.

On 13 May, she succeeded him as professor at the Sorbonne in his chair. She went on to establish a world-class laboratory as a tribute to her late husband, becoming the first woman professor at the university.