The Elements of Marie Curie: How the Glow of Radium Lit a Path for Women in Science (Hardcover)

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The Elements of Marie Curie: How the Glow of Radium Lit a Path for Women in Science By Dava Sobel Cover Image

The Elements of Marie Curie: How the Glow of Radium Lit a Path for Women in Science (Hardcover)


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The acclaimed Pulitzer Prize finalist and #1 New York Times bestselling author of Galileo's Daughter crafts a luminous chronicle of the life and work of the most famous woman in the history of science, and the untold story of the many young women trained in her laboratory who were launched into stellar scientific careers of their own

"Even now, nearly a century after her death, Marie Curie remains the only female scientist most people can name," writes Dava Sobel at the opening of her shining portrait of the sole Nobel laureate decorated in two separate fields of science--Physics in 1903 with her husband Pierre and Chemistry by herself in 1911. And yet, Sobel makes clear, as brilliant and creative as she was in the laboratory, Marie Curie was equally passionate outside it. Grieving Pierre's untimely death in 1906, she took his place as professor of physics at the Sorbonne; devotedly raised two brilliant daughters; drove a van she outfitted with x-ray equipment to the front lines of World War I; befriended Albert Einstein and other luminaries of twentieth-century physics; won support from two U.S. presidents; and inspired generations of young women the world over to pursue science as a way of life.

As Sobel did so memorably in her portrait of Galileo through the prism of his daughter, she approaches Marie Curie from a unique angle, narrating her remarkable life of discovery and fame alongside the women who became her legacy--from France's Marguerite Perey, who discovered the element francium, and Norway's Ellen Gleditsch, to Mme. Curie's elder daughter, Ir ne, winner of the 1935 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. For decades the only woman in the room at international scientific gatherings that probed new theories about the interior of the atom, Marie Curie traveled far and wide, despite constant illness, to share the secrets of radioactivity, a term she coined. Her two triumphant tours of the United States won her admirers for her modesty even as she was mobbed at every stop; her daughters, in ve's later recollection, "discovered all at once what the retiring woman with whom they had always lived meant to the world."

With the consummate skill that made bestsellers of Longitude and Galileo's Daughter, and the appreciation for women in science at the heart of her most recent The Glass Universe, Dava Sobel has crafted a radiant biography and a masterpiece of storytelling, illuminating the life and enduring influence of one of the most consequential figures of our time.

Dava Sobel is the author of the international bestseller Longitude, the bestselling Pulitzer Prize finalist Galileo's Daughter, The Planets, A More Perfect Heaven, And the Sun Stood Still, and The Glass Universe, and co-author of The Illustrated Longitude. She is the recipient of the Individual Public Service Award from the National Science Board, the Bradford Washburn Award, the Kumpke-Roberts Award from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, among other honors. A former New York Times science reporter, and currently editor of the "Meter" poetry column in Scientific American, she lives on Long Island.
Product Details ISBN: 9780802163820
ISBN-10: 0802163823
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
Publication Date: October 8th, 2024
Pages: 336
Language: English