In the spring of 1521, the ships crossed the ___ now called the International Date Line.
Marie Curie was one of the most accomplished scientists in history. Together with herhusband, Pierre, she discovered radium, an element widely used for treating cancer, andstudied uranium and other radioactive substances. Pierre and Marie's amicablecollaboration later helped to unlock the secrets of the atom.Marie was born in 1867 in Warsaw, Poland, where her father was a professor of physics.At the early age, she displayed a brilliant mind and a blithe personality. Her greatexuberance for learning prompted her to continue with her studies after high school. Shebecame disgruntled, however, when she learned that the university in Warsaw was closedto women. Determined to receive a higher education, she defiantly left Poland and in1891 entered the Sorbonne, a French university, where she earned her master's degree anddoctorate in physics.Marie was fortunate to have studied at the Sorbonne with some of the greatest scientists ofher day, one of whom was Pierre Curie. Marie and Pierre were married in 1895 and spentmany productive years working together in the physics laboratory. A short time after theydiscovered radium, Pierre was killed by a horse-drawn wagon in 1906. Marie was stunnedby this horrible misfortune and endured heartbreaking anguish. Despondently she recalledtheir close relationship and the joy that they had shared in scientific research. The fact thatshe had two young daughters to raise by herself greatly increased her distress.Curie's feeling of desolation finally began to fade when she was asked to succeed herhusband as a physics professor at the Sorbonne. She was the first woman to be given aprofessorship at the world-famous university. In 1911 she received the Nobel Prize inchemistry for isolating radium. Although Marie Curie eventually suffered a fatal illnessfrom her long exposure to radium, she never became disillusioned about her work.Regardless of the consequences, she had dedicated herself to science and to revealing themysteries of the physical world.