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Essay adapted from 10 Women Who Changed Science and the World by Catherine Whitlock and Rhodri Evans (Diversion Books, 2019).

In November 1891, at nearly twenty-four years old, Marie boarded a train for Paris from her native Poland with

AS EDITH FLANIGEN EXPLAINS IT, THE STORY OF ZEOLITES dates back to 1756, when a Swedish mineralogist, Axel Fredrik Cronstedt, discovered that a certain type of natural crystal possessed a remarkable quality. When Cronstedt held the stone in a flame, it began to sizzle and froth as water inside the stone came to a boil. He combined two Greek words to name the crystal: zein , meaning “to boil,” and lithos , meaning “stone.”

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