NewEnergyNews: THE SOLAR CELL TURNS 60, Part 4

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    Thursday, April 17, 2014

    THE SOLAR CELL TURNS 60, Part 4

    So how did the scientific community come to accept photovoltaics...

    For the 60th anniversary of the silicon solar cell, PV60 – History Becoming the Future, is being organized by the Renewables 100 Policy Institute and co-sponsored by the City of Palo Alto on April 18, 2014. To join the celebration, NewEnergyNews will run, on April 18 and 19, eight questions and answers about the silicon solar cell’s history from John Perlin, the author of Let It Shine: The 6,000 Year Story Of Solar Energy.

    4-So how did the scientific community come to accept photovoltaics as a legitimate area of study? And did scientific acceptance lead to practical developments?

    Einstein’s new understanding of light combined with the late nineteenth-century discovery of the electron uncovered the secret of photovoltaics: light consists of packets of energy, according to the new science, capable of setting electrons into motion whose orderly movement is electricity…Scientific acceptance led to a flurry of activity in the photovoltaic field. But try as they may, no one could construct a solar cell efficient enough for everyday power needs. As one scientist lamented in 1949, “It must be left to the future whether the discovery of materially more efficient cells will reopen the possibility of harnessing solar energy for useful purposes.” click here for more

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