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July 1966

Historical Vignette

Author Affiliations

Bordeaux, France

Arch Otolaryngol. 1966;84(1):114-119. doi:10.1001/archotol.1966.00760030116013

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ALL over the world the name Marie Curie is connected with the discovery of radium and the knowledge of radioactivity. If, indeed, in 1896, Henri Becquerel described this strange property of uranium, it was Marie Curie who gave it its name "radio-activity." She and her husband, Pierre Curie, discovered two new elements, polonium and radium, millions of times more active than uranium, a discovery which allowed them to establish the fundamental laws ruling these phenomena which were to confound many principals of contemporary physics.

A new era had just been born. Just as man went through the stone age, the iron age, or more recently the age of steam and electricity, one can say that Marie Curie marks the beginning of the modern atomic age. Thanks to her work, to that of her husband, Pierre Curie, and later to that of her daughter and son-in-law, Irène

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