Marie Curie is featured on today's Google home page in celebration of her 144th birthday


Google’s home page today honours Polish-French physicist and chemist Marie Curie with a doodle in celebration of the 144 anniversary of her birth. Curie is known for her pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first woman to be awarded a Nobel Prize and, most impressively, the first person of any gender to be awarded two Nobels.

Born in 1891 in Warsaw, Poland the scientist’s work has contributed hugely to modern cancer treatment. She coined the ‘theory of radioactivity’ and developed techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes.  She discovered the element polonium, founded Curie Institutes in Paris and Warsaw and in 1932 founded a Radium Institute in the town of her birth, now renamed the Maria Sklodowska-Curie of Oncology.

Living in France during World War I, she became a member of the Committee for a Free Poland. Having been exposed to radiation throughout her work, she died of aplastic anemia in 1934 aged just 44.

Curie is the latest in a long line of scientists, artists and political figures to be immortalised in a Google doodle. Recent examples include Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's 262nd birthday, Giorgio Vasari’s 500 birthday and Gregor Mendel’s 189 birthday. Scroll through the gallery above to view a selection of others.