In 1534 he was sent by the King of France to search for lands to add to the French possessions and possibly to discover a new route to China along a Northwest passage.
Cartier made altogether three voyages to America and in 1541 spent the winter near the present city of Quebec.
Colbert encouraged commerce and internal improvements such as canals and roads, built a powrful navy and sent colonists to America. His efforts to keep the budget balanced failed when his rival, the war minister, persuaded the king to embark upon an expensive series of wars.
Between 1768 and 1779 he commanded three expeditions, sailing around Cape Horn exploring New Zealand, Antarctica, the West Coast of North America, the Bering Sea and finally discovering the Sandwich Islands (now Hawaii) where he was killed in a conflict with the Islanders.
Together with her husband Pierre she discovered that uranium ore contained more radioactivity than could be accounted for by the uranium itself. From tons of uranium ore she isolated small amounts of two highly radioactive new chemical elements, and named them radium and polonium.
She won the Nobel prize twice, first - jointly with her husband and Henry Becquerel - for the discovery of radium and polonium, and later - by herself - for the isolation of pure radium.
She died from leukemia thought to be an effect of her experiments with radiation.
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