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The author of this essay is anonymous but hopes to send a collective message to the readers. The author talks about Madam and Pierre Curie and their dedication to science and humanity.
The story the author talks about men and women who worked with great courage, commitment, dedication and singleness of purpose in their effort to attain what seemed to be unattainable. The author says that these men and women were driven in their effort to uncover the truth and mystery of the universe with an indomitable spirit which characterizes the human spirit. Examples of Vasco Da Gama, Sir Ronald Ross and many others have been mentioned who excelled in their endeavors.
The author then starts by listing one woman, Madam Curie, who dedicated her life to the cause of science and to the welfare of humanity the discoverer of radium. Through Madam Curie the author wants to show that with determination and hard work and sorrow and suffering in order to attain the goal.
Madam Curie was born in Warsaw, Poland on November, 7 1867, as Maria Sklodowska. Her childhood dream was to study science in Paris, but her father could not afford the expense for this. So Maria took a job as a governess and saved a little money. With that little money she finally went to Sorbonne, the University of Paris, to study science. She lived a precarious life, living off on bread and butter but that didn’t stop her. She worked hard through all the sufferings and topped her class with Honours in Physics and Mathematics.
Madam Curie met at this university with Pierre Currie, a brilliant but poor scientist. Soon, their friendship turned into love and in less than a year, in July, 1895, they were married. Marie and Pierre set up a laboratory in a wooden shed near their flat.
Marie was specially interested in a substance called uranium which was obtained from pitchblende, a black, very hard and very expensive substance. But soon Marie discovered that what was left after obtaining uranium was even more powerful. Pierre and Marie found that there was not one, but two new substances giving off these rays although they had not yet been able to obtain either of them. One of them they named in honor of her homeland, Poland, Polonium and the other was named Radium. Radium is the most powerful of the radio-active elements.
However the Curies did not always have good days. They lived in utter misery. They lived in utter penury, not buying costly food and warm clothes for the extremely cold Parisian winter. Often they could not sleep during the cold nights due to lack of warmth. Overwork seriously affected Madame Curie’s health. Often she was forced to leave the laboratory to take a much needed rest. Despite her husband’s request to take rest, Madam Curie labored on. She wanted to find the answers. She wanted to discover the mystery of radium.
Luck smiled upon the Curies as a gift of a ton of pitchblende from the emperor of Austria, who was an admirer of the Curies, was gifted to them. The Curies continued their work for four more years. Wearing an acid stained, dust covered mask, Marie toiled along stirring large pots of pitchblende ensuring that the fires beneath were active throughout the day and the night. In 1902, success finally
came. The Curies, after a day’s tiresome work, went home. Then just as they were about to go to bed they went to the laboratory to have another look at the hundreds of small bowls into which they had poured filtered pitchblende. In the dark laboratory as they moved cautiously forward there were all around them rays of soft, bluish purple light coming from the small, glass covered bowls. The joy that behold their eyes was beautiful! They had finally succeeded after years and years of toil. With its rays people would be able to see through the hardest of substances except lead. The world was indeed gifted that as the benefits of radium in the world of medicine are incalculable.
In 1903 the Curies along with Henry Becquesel, were awarded the Nobel Prize for physics for the discovery of Radium and Polonium. However, disaster followed as Pierre was knocked down and killed by a horse-drawn wagon. In 1911, Marie was awarded the Nobel prize for the second time and this was for Chemistry. In 1934, the health of Marie Curie failed and she succumbed to death.
Madame Curie, who pursued her life’s goal with great courage, endurance, dedication and strength of character, is a living example of this statement.
The author urges people to take inspiration from such a poignant person. He says men and women who show extreme courage when they are face to face with great danger are the ones likely to succeed in life. Madam Curie was one of them.
Through this essay, the author hopes to inspire people to push through all the hardships. He hopes to aspire people that struggles are the stepping stones of success. Just like Madam Curie and Pierre Curie, one shouldn’t give up and power through in life.