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In a 1903 letter to sweden mathematician Magnus Goesta Mittag-Leffler, Pierre wrote, “If the is true that one is serious thinking around me , I an extremely much wish to be considered in addition to Madame Curie with respect to our research study on radiation bodies.”

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The Nobel Prize and Its Aftermath

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ARIE WAS not REALLY NOMINATED because that her an initial Nobel Prize. From the beginning of the award in 1901, the Nobel Prizes have actually been made after a prolonged evaluation that the merits the nominees. In 1903 the French Academy of sciences nominated Henri Becquerel and Pierre -- however not Marie -- Curie together candidates for the physics prize. If not for the intervention of a member the the nominating committee, sweden mathematician Magnus Goesta Mittag-Leffler, Marie could have been denied recognition for she work. However Mittag-Leffler, an advocate of ladies scientists, wrote Pierre advising the of the situation. In his answer Pierre made clear that a Nobel prize for research study in radioactivity that failed to identify Marie"s pivotal function would be a travesty. Some strings were pulled, and also a nomination that Marie Curie in 1902 was validated for 1903.

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In December 1903, Becquerel and both Curies were awarded the Nobel Prize because that Physics. The Curies" citation was closely worded come avoid certain mention the their discovery of polonium and also radium. Chemistry on the nominating committee had actually insisted that the Curies can in the future deserve a Nobel Prize because that Chemistry because that their exploration of those elements. And also there remained some doubts around the elements, which had actually been isolated just in invisibly small amounts. Thus their physics prize pointed out only your collaborative work-related on Becquerel rays.

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The certificate because that the Curies" 1903 Nobel Prize for Physics cited “their joint researches top top the radiation phenomena found by Professor Henri Becquerel.” (Photo ACJC)

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By the moment Pierre took up his duties as a professor in ~ the Sorbonne, whereby he is shown here teaching, that complained of having actually only “a an extremely feeble volume for work.” (Photo ACJC)

READ Curie"s words

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HE CURIES FELT as well ILL and TOO BUSY to take trip to Stockholm for the awards ceremony the December (besides, Pierre depised ceremonies and publicity). Nobel laureates, however, were forced to present a class describing your work"s importance. In June 1905 the Curies finally made the trip. Practice dictated that Pierre supply the lecture, yet he was careful to distinguish between Marie"s independent work and their share efforts. After ~ surveying the science of radioactivity, he included a cautionary note. Radium, like various other scientific and technological discoveries (such as Nobel"s explosives), might prove very dangerous in the dorn hands, “and here we have to ask ourselves if humanity can advantage by knowing the keys of nature...or if this expertise will not be harmful to the world.” yet he ended his speak optimistically.

“I am among those who believe with Nobel the mankind will derive more an excellent than damage from the brand-new discoveries.”--Pierre Curie, Award deal with for 1903 Nobel Prize for Physics

Not surprisingly, the award carried changes in the Curies" lives. The compensation money was very useful. They supplied some of it to cover the costs of dealing with pitchblende, and also they might hire a paid lab assistant because that the an initial time. Pierre"s scientific achievement was finally acknowledged in his native country with an meeting to a professorship in ~ the Sorbonne. Yet it was just after Pierre rejected the an initial offer, which came without provisions because that a lab, that the university dug increase the necessary funds. Marie, for the an initial time in she career, would have both a title--chief the laboratory--and a college salary. “It was no without remorse that us left the college of Physics,” she recalled, “where we had known together happy occupational days, regardless of their attendant difficulties.” back Pierre started his brand-new position in the autumn of 1904, the rap was no actually completed till 1906. Marie stayed sensitive to these slights against Pierre"s dignity.

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took A hefty TOLL on the Curies in the wake up of their new international acclaim. Accustomed to functioning quietly and also without distraction in their lab, castle were now prey come journalists and photographers, who gone after them both in ~ work and at home. Not also six-year-old Ir�ne was for sure from your prying eyes. Pierre discovered that the undesirable intrusions ruined his productivity. Although he had actually published 25 papers in between July 1898 and also June 1904, he published nothing in the following two years. Also his choice in July 1905 come the French Academy the Sciences, which had rejected his candidacy earlier, did tiny to improve his structure of mind.

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The expectant mommy with Irène and also Pierre in their garden, 1904 (Photo ACJC)

“A totality year has actually passed due to the fact that I was able to do any kind of work, and I have not one moment to myself.” --letter indigenous Pierre Curie to physicist friend Georges Gouy, July 1905

Marie, too, complained about the ns of privacy. However having too much to execute seemed to energize, no enervate, her. In December 1904, a month ~ their move to the Sorbonne, the Curies" younger daughter, Eve, was born. Back Marie took some time off from her skilled commitments, she quickly resumed both she research and also her to teach at the teachers" training academy for ladies at S�vres. While carefully rationing the moment she would invest with journalists, she check to explain to the general public what the new discoveries meant.

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She even uncovered time for museums and also concerts, where Pierre joined her without enthusiasm.

Next: Tragedy and also Adjustment Also: “Radium and Radioactivity” through Marie Curie, 1904