Don't Come to Stockholm! Madame Curie’s Nobel  Scandal : Krulwich Wonders… : NPR   Leave a comment

We begin in 1911, when the Nobel Committee announced that its Chemistry Prize would go to Madame Marie Curie for her work with radium and polonium. This was her second Nobel. She’d previously shared the Physics Prize (1903) with her late husband Pierre. Writes Lauren Redniss: “Not only was she already the first woman to receive the prize, but now she was poised to become the first person, man or woman, to win it twice.”

Bettmann/CORBIS
Madame Curie in her lab.
She was invited to Stockholm to the award ceremony and the dinner with the King.

But suddenly there was a problem.

Five years earlier, in 1906, Madame Curie’s husband was run over and killed by a horse drawn carriage near the Pont Neuf in Paris. A few years later Marie Curie took a lover. He was younger, her husband’s former student, a physicist, and kind of dashing. Redniss writes:

Paul Lengevin was tall with a thriving mustache…He was brilliant, acclaimed for an ingenious thesis on ionized gases. He was daring; he scaled the Eiffel Tower to find the purest air for a study of electric currents in the atmosphere. He was celebrated: elected to the College de France and the Academie des Sciences…

Posted December 14, 2010 by dmacc502 in Uncategorized

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