Genius Series: The defiant life of Marie Curie
Big Think has launched a line of apparel and goods that celebrate the life and work of four geniuses.
- Big Think has just launched its Genius Series of tees, sweatshirts, posters and more!
- We're paying tribute to the first female Nobel Prize winner, Marie Curie.
- Select Rush or Super Rush Delivery to get your order before Christmas Day!
Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.
– Marie Curie
Marie Curie was a trailblazing physicist working in the 19th and 20th centuries, and remains the only person to this day to have won a Nobel Prize in two different sciences: physics and chemistry.
Curie was born in Poland, and although she was a brilliant student she was barred from higher education because she was a woman. Determined to study, she enrolled in a secret institution known as the Flying University, which defied government control of education, then moved to Paris to study physics and mathematics at the Sorbonne.
In Paris, she met physicist Pierre Curie, who became her partner in life and in the lab—and who defiantly fought for her recognition when the Nobel academy did not include her alongside him in the Nobel Prize nomination.
Curie changed the way we understood the structure of atoms, invented a mobile x-ray unit (and trained 150 women to operate them on the WWI battlefields), discovered radioactivity (and coined the term), and discovered two elements: polonium, named after her native Poland, and radium, the Latin word for 'ray'.
Our Marie Curie design pays tribute to this remarkable scientist's life and work. Wear it proudly, and—as Curie says above—have confidence that your gifts can be put to powerful use.
Select Rush or Super Rush Delivery to get your order before Christmas Day!
The electric car manufacturer says updates to its battery design and manufacturing process will help lower production costs.
- The high cost of batteries is the main reason why electric vehicles cost more than gas-powered cars.
- At the company's 'Battery Day' event on Tuesday, Tesla announced a new battery design that will give its cars more power and a longer range.
- The success of Tesla's plan depends on its ability to scale up production.
Screenshot of Tesla's 'Battery Day' presentation
Tesla<p>It's unclear when Tesla will stop using cobalt, or when it will stop sourcing its batteries from Panasonic. But the company claims that its new battery design and manufacturing changes will allow the company to cut the cost per kilowatt-hour in half. If Tesla can successfully scale up production, the company could hit its goal of $100 per kilowatt-hour sooner than expected.</p><p>Hitting that mark could usher in the electric-car revolution, considering $100 per kilowatt-hour is <a href="https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/How-Soon-Can-Tesla-Get-Battery-Cell-Cost-Below-100-per-Kilowatt-Hour" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">generally regarded as the threshold</a> the industry needs to reach in order to make electric vehicles cost competitive with gas-powered cars. </p><p>A $25,000 electric car would also be Tesla's cheapest offering by far. The company had previously promised a $35,000 car, but only offered one at that price for a limited time. Tesla's website says its Model 3, its cheaper car, starts at about <a href="https://www.industryweek.com/leadership/article/22027923/tesla-declines-as-model-3-price-cut-renews-demand-concerns" target="_blank">$39,000.</a></p>
Photo of Tesla's new battery design
Tesla<p>To be sure, Musk is known for promising big on his projects, but not always following through on the promised timetable. But despite having an "insanely hard" 2020, as Musk said, Tesla's had a good past couple years.<br></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"In 2019, we had 50% growth," Musk said at the event. "And I think we'll do really pretty well in 2020, probably somewhere between 30 to 40 percent growth, despite a lot of very difficult circumstances."</p>
Dominique Crenn, the only female chef in America with three Michelin stars, joins Big Think Live this Thursday at 1pm ET.
Well preserved coffins hint towards more discoveries in a famed necropolis.
- Archeologists in Egypt have discovered more than two dozen sarcophagi in the last month.
- Experts predict more discoveries in the coming weeks.
- Their discovery is another credit to Saqqara, the necropolis of the old capital of Memphis.
More mummies than in a horror movie.<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDQzMTA4OC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyMjQ3Nzc5OX0.Vf-N6VDF0tVTarGsPg46iPDARKKIqYqd32b7Zltvxn0/img.jpg?width=980" id="4aad6" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="91e3416d707d54f5a71e560ed928ece2" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities/Facebook<p>The first 13 of them were found stacked on top of each other in a shaft 11 meters <a href="https://www.facebook.com/moantiquities/posts/3378381348874158" target="_blank">deep</a>. All of the sarcophagi were completely sealed and apparently hadn't been tampered with since there were buried. In some cases, the paint on the wooden coffins is still visible, giving them a vibrant appearance. </p><p> Shortly after that find, the ministry of antiquities announced the discovery of 14 more mummies at the same site in another, similar <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/sealed-sarcophagi-ancient-egypt-discovery-saqqara-2020-9" target="_blank">shaft</a>. Similarly to the previous find, these coffins were remarkably well preserved and featured painted hieroglyphics. <strong></strong></p> The finds were also detailed in a <a href="https://www.facebook.com/moantiquities/posts/3418995644812728" target="_blank">Facebook post</a> by the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. At the moment, we don't know who these mummies were, what kind of lives they lived, or what items they decided to take to their graves. This information is expected to turn up soon. More details on the mummies are expected next <a href="https://news.yahoo.com/archaeologists-unearth-27-coffins-egypts-145238537.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">month</a><p>.</p>
What kind of a place has two dozen mummies just lying around?<p>The remains were found at the Saqqara Plateau, known to have housed the necropolis of the city of Memphis during that era of Egyptian history. It is well known for its <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyramid_of_Djoser" target="_blank">Step Pyramid of Djoser</a>, perhaps the earliest example of cut stone construction at such a scale in human history. Located a mere 16 kilometers (10 miles) south of the better known Great Pyramid at Gaza, Saqqara has been a site of significant archeological interest for more than a century.</p><p>The earliest burials there date back to the first dynasty, some 5000 years ago. The site remained in use as a burial ground and religious center to the rise of Islam in the 7<sup>th</sup> century C.E. It's six thousand years of service has given it a unique collection of monuments, pyramids, and tombs for high ranking officials and pharaohs alongside galleries for the mummies of pets, statues of Greek philosophers and poets, and the remains of monasteries. </p><p>Of course, while the mummies of Pharaohs, and the massive wealth they were buried with, capture public interest, mummification was not just for royalty. Many tombs are filled with the remains of <a href="https://newsela.com/read/middle-class-mummies-egypt" target="_blank">middle-class Egyptians</a>, rather than those of royalty, and feature simpler variations of the elite's burial practices.</p><p>The Ministry of Antiquities expects more sarcophagi to be found at the site and has already announced further <a href="https://www.sciencealert.com/egypt-discovers-14-more-ancient-unopened-sarcophagi" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">excavations</a>. </p>
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