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Radioactive-퀴리 부부의 (Marie & Pierre Curie)의 사랑과 이별

by Helen of Troy 2011. 4. 10.


Radioactive 전시회가 열리는 2층의 복도 입구에 붙은 포스터...



Radioactive tells the story of an artist and writer

who drew on the vast collection of The New York Public Library

to create a new work or art.  In 2008-09, Lauren REdniss was

a Fellow at the Library's Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center

for Scholars and Writers, where she worked on a book of

visual art and narrative nonfiction called Radioactive:

Marie & Pierre Curie, A tale of Love and Fallout(HarperCollins, December 2010).


The exhibition explores the discovery of radioactivity

at the turn of the 20th century through the dramatic

partnership of Nobel laureates Maire and Pierre Curie. 

Their story reflects the beauty, and the dangers, inherent in scientific progress and love.  In the century since the Curies discovered new radioactive elements, the world has struggled

with nuclear weapons proliferation, debated the role of

radiation in medical treatment, and considered whether nuclear power can serve as an alternative energy source to counter climate change.  Radioactive links these atomic age dilemmas

to a romance in Paris in the 1890s.


To create her images, Redniss studied Anna Atkins's

Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions (1843), which are housed in the Library's Spencer Collection. 

Drawing on additional Library resources, she examined Russian lithographs, Renaissance anatomical etchings, 18th-century fashion advertisements, and photographs from the 1939

New York World's Fair.  After studying the title pages of

hundreds of books in the Library's Digital Gallery, she designed

her own typeface.



방사능이라는 제목의 책은 미술가이자 작가가 뉴욕 시립 도서관에

소장된 많은 자료를 바탕으로 창조되었다. 

2008-09년에 시립 도서관 내의

학자와 작가을 위한 도로시 & 루이스 컬먼 센터의 fellow(특별회원)인

로렌 레드니스 씨가 센터에서 하퍼 콜린스에서 2010년 12월에 출판된

방사능: 마리와 피에르 부부의 사랑과 이별

이라는 그림과 이야기를 조합한 논픽션 책을 만들었다.



이번 전시회에서는 20세기 초반에 노벨상 수상자인

마리와 피에르 퀴리 부부가 공동으로 극적으로 방사능을 최초로 발견한

사건을 다루고 있다.

이들의 이야기는 아름다움과, 과학연구에 따르는 위험,

그리고 그들의 사랑 얘기가 이 책과 전시회의 주제이다.

퀴리 부부가 방사능 원소들을 발견한 후에 현재까지

인간은 핵 무기 개발과 의학적으로 방사능 치료 방법,

그리고 원자력 발전소로 에너지 공급원으로

여전히 논쟁이 되고 있다.

방사능은 1890년대의 파리에서 피어난 사랑과

금세기의 핵 세계의 딜레마 사이를 연결해 준다.


이 책에 나오는 이미지는 책의 저자이자 일러스트레이션을 한 

레드니스씨가 시립 도서관 내에 스펜서 컬렉션 에 소장 된

1843년에 출판된 안나 애트킨스의 사진 작품집인  

영국의 해초: Cynotype 프린트 라는 책을 연구한 결과 제작되었다.

이 책 외에도 그녀는 러시아 석판 작품과 르네상스 시대의 해부학 에칭,

그리고 18세기의 패션 선전물과 1939년에 뉴욕에서 열린 뉴욕 박람회

사진을 연구를 해서 책에 나은 그림들이 완성되었다.

아울러 도서관의 디지탈 갤러리에 소장된 수많은 책 표지도 참조한 후에

그녀만의 독특한 활자체가 탄생되었다.





책머리에 저자가 " 나의 과학적 연구와 나의 사생활과는 아무 관계가 없다." 라고 한 마리 퀴리에게 우선 용서를 구하고 있다.


1장 대칭: page 13


page 14-15

Catastrophism, a geological theory championed by zoologist Georges Cuvier, holds that time lurches forward

in a sudden disasters.  In Paris, there is a street named after Cuvier.  It rolls downhill toward the Seine alongside

a garden.  on the rue Cuvier on May 15, 1859.  Pierre Curie was born.

Three times before her death, Marya Sklodowska would find, then swiftly lose, a cherished lever.

The gray-eyed girl was born in Warsaw on November 7, 1867, the yearchemist and orchid cultivator

Alfred Nobel patented dynamite.  She would become famous as Marie Curie, twice winning the Nobel established

with his explisives fortunes.



page 20-21

Pierre: "I did not regret my nights passed in the weeds, and my solitary days.  If I hadthe time I wold let myself recount

my musings.  I would describe my delicious valley, filled with the perfume of aromatic plants, the beautiful mass of foliage,

so fresh and so humid, that hung over the Bievre, the fairy palace with its colonnade of hops, the stony hills, red with heather....

We must eat, drink, sleep, be idle, have sex, love, touch the sweetest things in life and yet not succumb to them."


Marya: "I was barely eighteen when I came here, and what I have not been through!  There have been moments which

I shall certainly count among the most cruel of my life....  I feel everything very violentlh, with a physical violence,

and then I give myself a shaking, the vigor of my nature conquers, and it seems to me that I am coming out of my nightmare...

Threre is... the need of new impressions; the need of change, of movement and life, which seizes me sometimes with

such force that I want to fling myself into the greatest follies."  She fled heartbreak i Poland and boarded the train to Paris.

"My head is so full of plans that it seems aflame."




2장 자기학


page 24-25

For his doctoral thesis, "Magnetic Properties of Bodies at Diverse Temperatures," begun in 1891,

Pierre heated up various materials to feverish temperatures,  looking for changes in their powers of attraction.


That same year, twenty-four-year-old Marya enrolled at the Faculte des Sciences at the Sorbonne(one of just 23 women

in a student body of some 1800).  She registered for classes under the name "Marie."

Marie: "The room I lived in was a garret, very cold in the winter...  To be able to sleep I was obliged to pile all my clothes

on the bedcovers... I... carried the little coal I used up the six flights....  This life... had real charm for me.

It gave me a precious sense of liberty and independence."  She completed degrees in mathematics and physics

in rapid succession, and in 1893 was hired by the Society for the Encouragement of National Industry to study the

magnetic properties of steel.



page 34-35

Marie Sklodowska and Pierre Curie wed on July 26, 1895. 

She wore a navy suit and a blue striped blouse.  They took their honeymoon on bicycles, riding along the coast ofBrittany

and into the French countryside, her handlebars festooned with flowers.  These excursions would become a favorite custom.

Marie:  "The forest of Compiegne charmed us... with its mass of green foliage stretching as far as the eye could see,

and its periwinkles and anemones.  on he border of the forest of Fontainbleau. the banks of the Loing, covered with water

buttercups, were an object of delight for Pierre... We loved the melancholy coasts of Brittany, and the reaches of heather

and gorse, stretching to the very points of Finistere, which seemed like claws or teeth burying themselves in the water

which forever rages at them."





page 38-39

Two years and two months into their marriages,

Marie gave birth to a six-pound baby girl.  They named her Irene.



page 44-45

For his wife's work, Pierre provided Marie with tools and a techniques he had developed with this brother years earlier.

An extremely sensitive electrometer measured the electric charge produced by pressure on a crystal.

Marie now built a circuit which a known current would deflect the needle on a dial of an electrometer away from zero.

She would then arrange an opposing current, caused by the strange rays, o bring the needle back to zero-the unknown

counterbalancing the known.  Marie could thus determine the precise intensity of the unknown rays.

She was able to establish that the intensity of the rays was not affected by  external conditions, that they could not be

altered by any chemical process.  These rays, she asserted, were a fundamental attribute of the substance in question-

they were nothing less than an atomic property of the element.  It was a tremendous insight.  The very foundation of modern

chemistry.  Marie could see, was in question: the atom must not be the constant, unchangeable building block of matter scientists

had believed it to be.  The results raised tantalizing questions that would resonate far beyond the Curies' period.

What was the structure of the atom?  Clearly ENERGY was suspended within it.  Could the energy be harnessed?


To Marie, "It was obvious that a new science was in the course of development."  This new science needed a name.



page 56-57

The Curies had demonstrated the existence of polonium and radium through their radioactivity, but fellow scientists remained skeptical.  It was as if the elements had been grasped only by shadows, and so could be considered no more definitive than, say, the world of a Spiritualist medium.  Chemists in particular wanted to see them, to touch them.  only concrete evidence would be persuasive.  Snd so, the Curies plunged into a Sisyphean task.  Procuring seven tons of pitchblende-amountain of black rubble strewn with pine needles-from the Bohemian nines, they began trying to extract measurable amounts of their new elements.  They asked the Sorbonne for laboratory space to complete the work.  The university gave the Curies a dilapidated wooden

 shed previously used for human dissection.


Marie:  "It was exhausting work to move the containers about, to transfer the liquids, and to stir for hours at a time,

with an iron bar, the boiling material in the cast-iron basin.  I extracted from the mineral the radium-bearing barium and this,

in the state of chloride, I submitted it to a fractional crystallization.  The radium accumulated in the least soluble parts,

and I believed that this process must lead to the separation of the chloride of radium.  The very delicate operations of the

last crystallizations were exceedingly difficult to carry out in that laboratory, where it was impossible to find protection

from the iron and coal dust."  After four years of steady labor, four hundred tons of water, and forty tons of corrosive

chemicals, on March 28, 1092, they managed to extract one tenth of a gram of radium chloride.

Marie: "I shall never be able to express the joy of the untroubled quietness of this atmosphere of research and the

excitement of actual progress."


With the constant commpanionship that accompanied their research, the Curies' love deepened.

They cosigned their published findings.  Their handwritings intermingle in their notebooks.

On the cover of one black canvas laboratory log, the initials "M" and "P" are scripted directly one atop the other.



page 58-59

"We lived in a preoccupation as complete as that of a dream."



page 52-53

Electricity, radio, the telegraph, the X-ray, and now, radioactivity-at the turn of the twentieth century a series

of invisible forces were radically transforming daily life.  These adances were dazzling and discorienting; for some

they blurred the boundary between science and magic.



page 72-73

On June 25, 1903, Marie defended her thesis "Researches on Radioactive Substance," 

and became the first woman in France to receive a doctorate. 



page 92-93


page 94-95

In April 1906 the Curies and their daughters, Irene and Eve, took an April holiday in the meadows of St. Remy-les-Chevreuse,

southwest of Paris.  Pierre was not well, In a shifting half-letter, half-diary entry, Marie recorded those

"two sweet days under a mild sun."  "We collected flowering chestnut branches and gathered a huge bouquet of large water

buttercups that you loved so....  We slept nuzzled against each other, as always...



... I had the feeling that I had frequently felt during this recent time, that nothing troubled us."


page 98-99

On April 19, Pierre returned to Paris for a meeting at the Hotel des Societes Savantes de Science.

It was raining that Thursday when he left after lunch, preoccupied with work and limping from chronic pain.

As he crossed the busy intersection of Rue Dauphine near the Seine, in the gloom and the snarl of traffic,

the physicist was struck by a horse-drawn carriage crossing the Pont Neuf.


page 100-101


page 102-105

Marie returned home to learn that her husband was dead. 

The flowers he had picked in the country remained fresh on the table.

His grey watch, recovered from the scene of the accident, still ticked away the time.





page 112-113

Marie moved with her daughters just outside Paris to Pierre's homeown of Sceaux, where they could be

near his father.  She bought Eve a piano and installed a trapeze in the garden.

She took up her husbands's unfinished research, studying radiation and gravity, and radiation and its effect

on nearby substances.  Pouring her evergy into the work, she tried to rebuild a life.




page 120-121

In the apring of 1910, a flush appeared over Marie's cheeks.

She pinned a flower to her dress. 

Marie had taken a lover.


page 122-123

Four years after the death of her husband, Marie had fallen for Pierre's former student, Physicist Paul Langevin.

 Mere hours of separation prompted the exchange of impassioned letters.



page 124-125

Paul Langevin was tall with a thriving mustache.  He was born on Pairs's Montmartre hillside in 1872,

next to a crumbling piano factory-turned-tenement, the building where Pablo Picasso would later paint

Les Demoiselles d'Avignon.  Langevin's rise in the scientific community was swift, his accomplishments many.

He was brilliant:  acclaimed for an ingenious thesis on ionized gases.

He was daring:  he scaled the Eiffel Tower to find the purest possible air for a study of electric currents

in the atmosphere.  He was celebrated: elected to the College de France and the Academie des Sciences,

awarded the Hughes Medal and the Copley Medal.

He was heroic:  active in the French Resistance during World War II, arrested by the Nazis.

president of the League of the Rights of Man.


page 126-127


page 136-137



page 146-147

In mid-December 1911, bruised but defiant Marie traveled to Sweden to claim her second Nobel Prze,

this time in chemistry, for her discoveries of radium and polonium and for work advancing  the understanding of radium.




page 158-159

Marie had lost two partners and collaborators, first Pierre Curie, then Paul Langevin.

Now she enlisted her eldest daughter to join her in her wartime effort. 

Irene quickly became a skilled colliague, working alongide her mother as a nurse and radiologist.

By eighteen, Irene was already training other new radiological technicians. 

The work exposed both women to large amounts of radiation.


page 164-165

In 1924, Marie hired a tall lieutenant, twenty-five years old, to be her assistant.  Frederic Joliet came with

the recommendation of his teacher, Paul Langevin.  The young man's friendly way warned the cool demeanor of

Marie;s elder daughter, Irene, three years his senior.  He began walking her home from the lab in the evening.

On October 4, 1925, they married.  It was not long before their union echoed the double partnership-

ramantic and scientific-of their mentors.


page 166-167

In 1927 Irene and Frederic had a daughter, whom they named Helene.  Their second child, called Pierre for maternal grandfather,

was born 1932.  In 1934, bombarding aluminum with alpha particles, Irene and Frederic tranforned a naturally stable

element into a radioactive one.  They called this process "artificial radioactivity."  They had discovered that

radioactivity could be provoked rather than simply observed. 

They immediately recognized in their discovery a source of potentially limitless enery, a powerful medicine, and

a tool for biological research. 


At dawn on July4, 1934, Marie Curie passed away.  Teh cause of death was "aplastic pernicious anemia"

due to prolonged radiation exposure.  She was 64 years old.


A year and a half after Marie's death, on November 14, 1935, her daughter and son-in-law

received word that they had won the Nobel Prize for their discovery of artificial radioactivity.



 page 181


 page 183

North Korean stamp commenorating 50th anniversary of the death of Marie Curie



page 202