Marie Curie had won her first Nobel Prize in Physics in the year 1903. She shared this esteemed honor with Henri Becquerel her husband Pierre Curie for the work on radioactivity.
The Curies had a love marriage. Marie was looking for laboratory space to conduct her experiments in France. She then met Pierre who gave her space to work. The duo became scientific partners and ultimately fell in love with each other.
Pierre died in 1906 when he met with an accident in France. Marie was devastated by this incident. However, life had to go on and she gathered her courage and continued her research.
A few years later, she became romantically involved with physicist Paul Langevin, who had been a doctoral student of Pierre’s. Though Langevin was separated from his wife, they were still technically married. The relationship caused troubles in the Langevin home, but that was nothing compared to what was about to spill over into the public eye.
Curie, Langevin and about 20 other scientists were involved in a conference in Brussels. During the same time, romantic love letters between the two were shared with the media by Langevin’s wife, who had portrayed Marie as an evil homewrecker. When Curie returned home to France after the conference, she was greeted by a mob that surrounded her house and terrified Curie’s daughters, who were only 7 and 14 years old at the time. Curie and her daughters temporarily moved in with a friend until the scandal died down.
Albert Einstein was disgusted by the media and thought of writing a letter to his new friend.
This letter to Curie was uncovered by astrobiologist David Grinspoon, who was perusing the thousands of Einstein’s documents recently made available online by the Princeton University Press.