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Marie and Irиne with X-ray equipment at a military hospital. After training Irиne as a radiologist for a year, Curie deemed her daughter capable of directing a battle-front radiological installation on her own.

LTHOUGH CURIE HAD LECTURED about X-rays at the Sorbonne, she had no personal experience working with them. Intending to operate the petite Curie herself if necessary, she learned how to drive a car and gave herself cram courses in anatomy, in the use of X-ray equipment, and in auto mechanics. As her first radiological assistant she chose her daughter Irиne, a very mature and scientifically well-versed 17-year-old. Accompanied by a military doctor, mother and daughter made their first trip to the battle front in the autumn of 1914.

“The use of the X-rays during the war saved the lives of many wounded men; it also saved many from long suffering and lasting infirmity.” --Marie Curie Would Irène be traumatized by the sight of the soldiers' horrific wounds? To guard against a bad reaction, Curie was careful to display no emotion herself as she carefully recorded data about each patient.

Irиne followed her mother's example. Heedless of the dangers of over-exposure to X-rays, mother and daughter were inadequately shielded from the radiation that helped save countless soldiers' lives. After the war the French government recognized Irиne's hospital work by awarding her a military medal. No such official recognition came to Curie. Perhaps her role in the Langevin affair was not yet forgiven.

Source: www.aip.org
Category: Bullets

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