In 1906, just as we were definitely giving up the old shed laboratory where we had been so happy, there came the dreadful catastrophe which took my husband away from me and left me alone to bring up our children and, at the same time, to continue our work of research.
I was only fifteen when I finished my high-school studies, always having held first rank in my class. The fatigue of growth and study compelled me to take almost a year's rest in the country. I then returned to my father in Warsaw, hoping to teach in the free schools.
All my mind was centered on my studies, which, especially at the beginning, were difficult. In fact, I was insufficiently prepared to follow the physical science course at the Sorbonne, for, despite all my efforts, I had not succeeded in acquiring in Poland a preparation as complete as that of the French students following the same course.
I tried out various experiments described in treatises on physics and chemistry, and the results were sometimes unexpected. At times, I would be encouraged by a little unhoped-for success; at others, I would be in the deepest despair because of accidents and failures resulting from my inexperience.