Marie and Pierre Curie remain two of the most important scientists of the 20th century. Their pioneering work in the study of radioactivity led to the discovery of the elements radium and polonium. Later, they identified how atoms give off, or radiate, energy which would be the foundation for modern nuclear physics.
But for as successful as they were as scientific partners, theirs was also a love story. Coming from vastly different backgrounds, Marie grew up in politically repressed Poland and suffered the loss of a sister and her mother as a young girl. Pierre enjoyed an idyllic childhood and was educated at home by his brother and father. Although their friendship was initially based on their shared passion for science and research, it soon grew into a romantic love that would lead them to a personal relationship and professional partnership that would literally change the world.