Marie Curie (Maria Sklodowska-Curie) was the first person in history to obtain two Nobel Prizes in different areas of science (physics and chemistry). Born in Warsaw, Poland, Marie Curie was the first woman appointed to teach at La Sorbonne (University of Paris) and the first woman in France to achieve her doctoral degree.
She succeeded in separating radium from barium only with tremendous difficulty. The shed in which this momentous discovery took place, formerly a medical school dissecting room, was poorly outfitted and ventilated. It took Marie over three years to isolate one tenth of a gram of pure radium chloride, for reasons that would not be fully understood until the concept of radioactive decay was developed.
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