Romanian physicist Ștefania Mărăcineanu has been honored on her 140th birth anniversary in the form of a Google Doodle on Saturday. One of the pioneering women in the discovery and research of radioactivity, Mărăcineanu formed Romania’s first laboratory for study of Radioactivity after returning from the Astronomical Observatory in Meudon.
Listed below are her major works as a physicist:
1. Mărăcineanu’s work led to what is most likely the first example of artificial radioactivity. She also dedicated a major part of her life to her in researching on artificial rain.
2.She researched upon the link between earthquakes and rainfall, making her the first one to report that a significant increase of radioactivity in the Earth’s epicenter leads to an earthquake.
3. Mărăcineanu’s contribution as a physicist never attracted a global recognition, however, Academy of Sciences of Romania in 1936 recognized her work and elected her to serve as a Director of Research
4. Mărăcineanu during her research on her half-life of polonium, she realized that half-life is based on the type of metal it was placed on, which led her to think if the alpha rays from the polonium had transferred some atoms of the metal into radioactive isotopes.
5.When Marie Curie’s daughter Irène and her husband won a joint noble prize for their discovery of artificial radioactivity, Mărăcineanu asked for the recognition of her contribution in the discovery.
A graduate in physical and chemical science degree in 1910, Mărăcineanu began her career as a teacher at Central School for Girls in Bucharest. She later pursued graduate research at the Radium Institute in Paris. Mărăcineanu also began working on her PhD thesis on Polonium, the element which was discovered by Marie Curie.