Overnight Change

Change rarely happens overnight. Generally, it sneaks up on you, and you realize “Hey … Wow! Something has really changed.” It is not the change that has occurred overnight, but rather its realization. Which is what’s happening now in the Energy Sector.

The Father of Photovoltaics — We are only now at the dawn of the day when we will reap the benefits of a discovery made in 1839 when the nineteen year old Edmond Becquerel was experimenting with an electrolytic cell.   Edmond’s father was a French scientist, and his son followed in his footsteps. According to Wikipedia 

In 1839, at age 19, experimenting in his father’s laboratory, Becquerel created the world’s first photovoltaic cell. In this experiment, silver chloride was placed in an acidic solution and illuminated while connected to platinum electrodes, generating voltage and current. Because of this work, the photovoltaic effect has also been known as the “Becquerel effect”.

It took another sixty five years for the explanation to emerge.  Historians still call the year 1905 the annus mirabilis — in that “miracle year” Einstein published four remarkable scientific papers exploding our understanding of the physical world, ranging from the smallest scale to the largest, explaining fundamental characteristics about the nature of energy, matter, motion, time and space. Fast forward another twenty years; Einstein was later (1920’s) awarded a Nobel prize for his miracle year’s work, which described the reason Becquerel’s Photovoltaic Effect worked in the first place.

It took another thirty years (1954) for Bell Labs to manufacture the first Photovoltaic cell. Still works, which is saying something for a prototype.  So, it took from 1839 to 1954m ir one hundred fifteen years to positioned the world to enjoy a change of monumental importance.

Next time, we’ll discuss why these overnight changes are poised to change the world in which we live!


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