Mother of Invention

After French physicist Henri Becquerel first discovered a strange source of energy coming from uranium, the genius Marie Curie decided she needed to know more. During her research Mme. Curie made several scientific discoveries. Chief among them was that radiation did indeed come from the atom itself rather than an interaction between molecules. This disproved the ancient assumption that atoms were indivisible, and led to the creation of the field of atomic physics. She went on to lead a life of research that has had an impact on the world. How much do you know about this woman who discovered the work you do today?

1. In what country was Marie Curie born?

  • Poland
  • Sweden
  • France
  • England

2. Who died when Marie was young?

  • Brother and father
  • Mother and sister
  • Both parents
  • Brother and sister

3. In which subjects did she earn degrees?

  • Chemistry and mathematics
  • Chemistry and biology
  • Physics and English
  • Physics and mathematics

4. Which two elements did Marie and her husband discover?

  • Polonium and uranium
  • Polonium and bismuth
  • Uranium and radium
  • Radium and polonium

5. The ore that the Curies extracted from the two new elements is called

  • Gold
  • Pitchblende
  • Copper
  • Polonium

6. Which of these is true?

  • Marie Curie was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize.
  • Marie Curie was the only woman to win two Nobel Prizes.
  • Marie Curie is the only person to win the Nobel Prize in multiple sciences.
  • Marie Curie is the only woman whose daughter also won a Noble prize.


1. Poland  2. Mother and sister  3. Physics and mathematics  4. Radium and polonium  5. Pitchblende  6. (all true)