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A featured text is one which is recognized as among the most complete and highest quality works on Wikisource. These are prominently displayed on the main page, inviting users to read at their leisure.


Featured texts edit
Date Text
2016
January
February The Kiss and its History
March
April The Descent of Man (Darwin)
May
June The Fables of Florian (tr. Phelps)
July The Discovery of Radium
August
September
October
November
December
Notes
  1. The Black Cat was originally featured, but this is now a disambiguation page, and featured status has been transferred to Tales (Poe)/The Black Cat.

Current featured text

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"The Discovery of Radium" by Marie Skłodowska Curie.

On 14 May, 1921, Marie Curie delivered "the only extended address which she made" on her visit that year to the United States. The Discovery of Radium is that address, descibing to those assembled at Vassar College of her Nobel Prize winning discovery of the chemical element radium despite the twin challenges of of tremendous difficulties and limited resources.

Marie Curie c1920.jpg

I could tell you many things about radium and radioactivity and it would take a long time. But as we can not do that, I shall only give you a short account of my early work about radium. Radium is no more a baby, it is more than twenty years old, but the conditions of the discovery were somewhat peculiar, and so it is always of interest to remember them and to explain them.

We must go back to the year 1897. Professor Curie and I worked at that time in the laboratory of the school of Physics and Chemistry where Professor Curie held his lectures. I was engaged in some work on uranium rays which had been discovered two years before by Professor Becquerel. I shall tell you how these uranium rays may be detected. If you take a photographic plate and wrap it in black paper and then on this plate, protected from ordinary light, put some uranium salt and leave it a day, and the next day the plate is developed, you notice on the plate a black spot at the place where the uranium salt was. This spot has been made by special rays which are given out by the uranium and are able to make an impression on the plate in the same way as ordinary light.

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Past featured text

Anthem for Doomed Youth is one of the best-known and most popular of Wilfred Owen's poems. It employs the traditional form of a sonnet. Much of the imagery suggests Christian funeral rituals and the poem moves from infernal noise to mournful silence.

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
    —Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
    Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells,...
(Read on, listen.)

Featured February 2007

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