Happy Birthday Maria Sklodowska Curie
Marie Curie, born Maria Sklodowska on November 7, 1867. Through several years' unceasing work in the most difficult physical conditions, Maria and her French husband Pierre Curie, processed several tons of pitchblende, progressively concentrating the radioactive substances and eventually isolating the chloride salts (refining RaCl2 on April 20, 1902) and identifying two previously unknown chemical elements. The first, they named "polonium," in honor of Marie's native country, Poland, and the other "radium," for its intense "radioactivity" — a word coined by Marie. In 1903 she completed her doctoral degree and became the first woman in France to do so. In the same year, she received her first of two Nobel Prizes. She is the only person to receive two Nobel Prizes in different fields of science.