Rendiconti Online della Società Geologica Italiana - Vol. 36/2015

Hunting for Radium in Italy during the First World War: Marie Curie and Italian mineralogists and geologists

Annibale Mottana (a) & Pietro Nastasi (b)
(a) Department of Sciences, University of Rome Tre, Largo S. Leonardo Murialdo, 1, 00146, Rome, Italy. E-mail: (b) Department of Mathematics, University of Palermo, Italy.

Volume: 36/2015
Pages: 94-98


Marie Curie's visit to Italy in August 1918 started with research for helium gas on sites chosen by chemists. She dedicated the two last days only to the Lurisia autunite occurrence as a possible source of radium. Here, mineralogists took over the leadership. They continued surveying after her departure, even after the war was over. Their study went on with continuous interaction with geologists and chemists. The outcome was abandoning the Lurisia mining claim as unprofitable, and transferring its right to a thermal water spa.


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