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The legacy of Maria Curie Sk odowska

DOI: 10.2478/v10246-012-0006-5

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Abstract:

Maria Sk odowska Curie left us a great legacy. Her discovery of polonium and radium was incomparably greater than the mere discovery of new elements. Its significance lay in the discovery of a new form of matter, namely radioactive one, but also in her unveiling of the internal property of its atoms. Subsequently emitted radiation went on to play the role of a "natural accelerator" for both scientific research and in medical radiotherapy. It was thanks to these discoveries that the field of nuclear physics arose just a few decades later. As importantly the work of Maria Curie Sk odowska during the Great War demonstrated how important pure scientific discovery can be for society and its welfare.

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