Google Doodle on Saturday, 18 June 2022, is celebrating the 140th birth anniversary of Romanian physicist Ștefania Mărăcineanu. To celebrate her birthday, the search engine giant has shared a doodle of her on its search page. It involves her working in a lab on Polonium, an element discovered by physicist Marie Curie.
Who was Ștefania Mărăcineanu?
Ștefania Mărăcineanu was born on 18 June 1882 in Bucharest, Romania. She bagged a degree physical and chemical science in 1910, which was followed by the beginning of her career at the Central School for Girls in Bucharest.
According to the Google Doodle blog, during her stint there, the Romanian Ministry of Science offered her a scholarship and she decided to join the Radium Institute in Paris for her graduate research. She researched on polonium for her PhD thesis.
During her research, she discovered that the half-life of Polonium seemed dependent on the type of metal it was placed on. "Her research led to what is most likely the first example of artificial radioactivity," the blog added.
For here PhD thesis, Mărăcineanu enrolled at Sorbonne University in Paris, and managed to earn it in just two years. She also worked at Astronomical Observatory in Meudon, after which she founded a laboratory for the study of Radioactivity in Romania.
"In 1935, Irène Currie, daughter of Marie Curie, and her husband received a joint Nobel prize for their discovery of artificial radioactivity. Mărăcineanu didn’t contest the Nobel prize, but asked that her role in the discovery be recognized," reads the Google Doodle blog.
Her work, however, was recognized at the Academy of Sciences of Romania in 1936 and she was elected to serve as a Director of research.
Together, we pay tributes to Ștefania Mărăcineanu on her 140th birthday.