Did you know Marie Curie and Albert Einstein were friends?

Updated: Mar 10, 2020

In 1903, Marie Curie (November 7, 1867–July 4, 1934) won the Nobel Prise jointly with her husband for her pioneering research on radioactivity. April 19, 1906 she lost her husband in a tragic accident. Curies husband was crossing a busy Parisian street on a rainy day when he slipped, fell under a horse-drawn cart and died. Curie grieved for many years until she met the young physics professor Paul Langevin, who was married to but separated from a physically abusive woman. They engaged, which led to Langevin's ex-wife hiring someone to break into the apartment that the two had met and to steal their love letters, in order to leak them to the press. The press portrayed Curie as “A foreign Jewish home-wrecker”.

Later upon her invitation to the science conference in Brussel, where she met Albert Einstein, she found an angry mob in front of her home in Paris. This let to her being forced to stay over a friends house instead together with her daughter. Einstein found this scandal tasteless, cruel and thus wrote a letter to Curie hoping to encourage her to push through this difficult time and not give any credence to the hateful comments from the press. Here is the letter;

Highly esteemed Mrs. Curie,

Do not laugh at me for writing you without having anything sensible to say. But I am so enraged by the base manner in which the public is presently daring to concern itself with you that I absolutely must give vent to this feeling. However, I am convinced that you consistently despise this rabble, whether it obsequiously lavishes respect on you or whether it attempts to satiate its lust for sensationalism! I am impelled to tell you how much I have come to admire your intellect, your drive, and your honesty, and that I consider myself lucky to have made your personal acquaintance in Brussels. Anyone who does not number among these reptiles is certainly happy, now as before, that we have such personages among us as you, and Langevin too, real people with whom one feels privileged to be in contact. If the rabble continues to occupy itself with you, then simply don’t read that hogwash, but rather leave it to the reptile for whom it has been fabricated. With most amicable regards to you, Langevin, and Perrin, yours very truly,

A. Einstein

Shortly after the discovery, she won her second Nobel Prize in Chemistry for her discovery of the elements Radium and Polonium. To this day, she is the only person who has won a Nobel Prize in two different sciences. Marie Curie, known always and forever as one of humanities most visionary and beloved minds. And the press, are known by none.

Image Credit: http://www.openculture.com/2017/12/read-the-dont-let-the-bastards-get-you-down-letter-that-albert-einstein-sent-to-marie-curie-during-a-time-of-personal-crisis-1911.html

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