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Old 05-18-2018, 03:01 AM   #33
AnotherCat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookpossum View Post
It does seem pretty amazing that she would treat it so casually, doesn't it. I suppose she saw the good it could be used for, and didn't enquire into the damage.
At the time of her exposures the risks were not understood - if we time her main work by the times of her Nobel prizes they were in 1903 and 1911 (so well before the Radium Girls, for example). Very early days in nuclear physics. She actually lived until 1934 dying at age 66 so quite a good age for then and not as if she spent a short life stricken by acute radiation sickness as some might imagine: cases of acute radiation sickness were not really able to be studied until the effects of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings were observed (and from 2 separate fatal accidents at Los Alamos shortly after).

Her husband Pierre was similarly exposed so any risk they may have suspected was shared, he was killed in a road accident in 1906 though (he shared the 1903 Nobel with Marie).

Wow, my university A pass in the History of Modern Physics has had some use at last :-).
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