Skip to main content

Marie Curie (1867–1934): Pioneer of Nuclear Physics

  • Chapter
  • First Online:
Women of Genius in Science
  • 505 Accesses


Few people are aware that Marie Curie, probably the world's most famous scientist to this day, was officially Russian and thus a compatriot of Sofia Kovalevskaya. She was born Maria Salomea Skłodowska in 1867 in Warsaw, i.e., in the Russian part of the former Kingdom of Poland, which was then divided between Prussia and Russia. Her family belonged to the Polish landed gentry and had lost landed property and assets under the Russian occupation; the five Skłodowska siblings—Maria was the youngest—thus grew up in modest circumstances. However, the family remained proud of their Polish origins.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or eBook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
USD 29.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 37.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions


  1. 1.

    Fritz Vögtle and Peter Ksoll, Marie Curie. Rowohlt (2018), p. 14.

  2. 2.

    Susan Quinn, Marie Curie: A Life. Addison-Wesley (1996).

  3. 3.

    Marie Curie, Traité de Radioactivité. 2 volumes. Paris: Gauthier-Villars (1910); German edition: Die Radioaktivität. Leipzig: Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft (1911–1912), translated by B. Finkelstein.

  4. 4.

    Albert Einstein to Marie Curie on 23 November 1911, from: Walter Isaacson, Einstein: His Life and Universe. Simon & Schuster (2008).

  5. 5.

    Marie Curie, La Radiologie et la Guerre. Paris: Félix Alcan (1921).

  6. 6.

    Pierre Curie and Henri Becquerel, Action physiologique des rayons du radium, C.R.T (Cathode Ray Tube), 132 (1901) pp. 1289–1291.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Lars Jaeger .

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2023 The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this chapter

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Jaeger, L. (2023). Marie Curie (1867–1934): Pioneer of Nuclear Physics. In: Women of Genius in Science . Springer, Cham.

Download citation

Publish with us

Policies and ethics