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Who Discovered Solar Energy?

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Solar energy has been in used by various ancient civilization since the beginning of human civilizations. Some ancient buildings were build based on the availability of solar energy to provide sunlight. However, the person who came up with the idea of using solar power to create electrical energy was Alexandre Edmond Becquerel. This is why the discovery of solar energy, as we know it today, is accredited to this French scientist.

Alexandre Edmond BecquerelAlexandre Edmond Becquerel built the world’s first photovoltaic panel at the young age of 19 and that was in the year of 1839.

His father was a renowned French scientist

He was born on March 24th, 1820 in Pairs, France. He was the son of Antoine César Becquerel, another renowned French scientist. Edmond Becquerel followed the footstep of his father and continued his work and research. His main interests were on electricity, magnetism, optics and solar spectrum. He joined as a professor at the Agronomic Institute in Versailles in 1849. He received the chair of physics at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers in 1853.

He invented the phosphoroscope

He had an active interest in the study of light. He researched on phosphorescence, photochemical effects, the electric light and solar radiation. He was the first scientist to research these topics extensively. He invented the phosphoroscope, a device which allowed periods between exposure to a light source and the observation of the resulted affects.

He published two volumes of works

During 1867-1868, he published two volumes of works named “La Lumière, ses causes et ses effets”. He also researched and published papers on various topics on electronics including paramagnetic and diamagnetic properties of substances and Faraday’s law of electrolysis. In 1886, he was officially made a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. He died on May 11th, 1891.

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