Google celebrates the 140th anniversary of the birth of Romanian physicist Stefania Maracineanu with an artistic doodle
While researching the half-life of polonium, the Romanian physicist later discovered that the half-life seemed to depend on the type of metal it was placed on. She wondered if the alpha rays from the polonium had transferred some of the metal’s atoms into radioactive isotopes. His research resulted in the first example of artificial radioactivity.
To complete her doctorate in physics, Maracineanu enrolled at the Sorbonne University in Paris. She completed her doctorate in just two years. After working for four years at the Astronomical Observatory of Meudon, she returned to Romania. There she founded the first laboratory in her country to study radioactivity.
The Romanian physicist begins his research on artificial rain. For this, she also traveled to Algeria to test her results. Maracineanu also studied the link between earthquakes and precipitation. She was the first to report that there is a significant increase in radioactivity in the epicenter which led to an earthquake.
In 1935, Irene Currie, daughter of Marie Curie, and her husband received a joint Nobel Prize for their discovery of artificial radioactivity. Maracineanu did not contest the Nobel Prize, but demanded that his role in the discovery be recognized.
In 1936, the Romanian Academy of Sciences recognized Maracineanu’s work and she was elected to the position of Director of Research. However, she never received worldwide recognition for the discovery. The Curie Museum in Paris contains the original chemistry laboratory of the Institut du Radium, where Maracineanu worked.