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One of those who did so was a graduate student named Marie Sklodowska Curie.
Marie had been born in Warsaw, Poland, as Marya Sklodowska.
Radium was discovered in 1898 by Marie Curie (1867-1934) and her husband, Pierre Curie (1867-1934).
It was found in an ore of uranium called pitchblende.
Becquerel's discovery caused great excitement among scientists.
Many physicists stopped their own research and began to study this new curiosity.
Because of its radiation, however, it has relatively few uses.
To answer this question, they purified huge amounts of the natural ore. They thought at least one other element might be in the pitchblende. To do so, they had to sift through more than seven metric tons of pitchblende!
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In 1910, Marie Curie was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry for her discoveries of radium and polonium, thus becoming the first person to receive two Nobel Prizes.
Since these discoveries, many other radioactive elements have been discovered or produced.