Geek Trivia

Which Scientist’s Notebooks Are Still Too Radioactive To Handle?

Ernest Rutherford
Albert Einstein
Hans Geiger
Marie Curie
The Great Lakes Were Formed By?

Answer: Marie Curie

French-Polish scientist Marie Curie was one of the pioneers in the field of radiation and radioactivity (a term she coined). Through her work in the late 19th and early 20th century she radically expanded our knowledge of radiation, radioactive isotopes, and she discovered two radioactive elements–polonium and radium. For her efforts she was awarded numerous awards and recognitions including a Nobel Prize in Physics and Chemistry–she was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize and, to date, the only person to win in multiple sciences.

Unfortunately for the accomplished Curie, at the time of her research the effects of radiation on cellular structure were unknown. After years of extension research in her laboratory handling highly radioactive materials with no safeguards, she succumbed to aplastic anemia–a disorder of the bone marrow brought on by exposure to ionizing radiation–at the age of 66. Her laboratory and the artifacts found within, including her numerous research notebooks, are still so radioactive as to require special storage and protective equipment to handle.