I know that problems caused by radiation are pretty much random and unexpected at low levels of exposition but this randomness begins to be more probable when the exposition grows and this makes me think on the particular case of Ève Curie, who died 102. How could she be so healthy under the circumstances of her childhood? A good person to compare with would be her sister, Irène, who sadly died young because of leukaemia. However, this does not imply directly that her illness was caused by the pre-born exposition, as she also worked with radioactive materials. The longest lived, and most common, isotope of radium, $^{226}$Ra decays usually in mode $\alpha$ and $\alpha$ particles can be stopped by the body so Marie's body could protect her daughter’s during pregnancy from $\alpha$ particles. But what about the gamma emissions and sporadic $\beta^{-}$ decays? How was Ève protected against these? Was she just lucky or is there some explanation?

I knew the story of Marie and Pierre and about their daughters but these questions came to my mind after watching the (very cute) romantic movie dedicated to their scientific-personal relation.

  • $\begingroup$ Do you propose that the parents brought any significant amount of radioactive material home, or is there historical evidence that Marie spent a lot of time in the lab while pregnant with Eve? $\endgroup$ Apr 14, 2021 at 12:19
  • $\begingroup$ @CarlWitthoft This is in fact part of the question. Was the reason that Marie did not work while pregnant? Knowing the character of Marie that is unlikely. Plus, her body is nowadays still radioactive ☢️. (They had to take special care of it). $\endgroup$
    – Hvjurthuk
    Apr 14, 2021 at 13:17


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.