Maria Telkes: Why Google honors her at this time | Science and Know-how Information

Telkes was an progressive scientist acknowledged for her contributions to photo voltaic vitality applied sciences.

Hungarian-American scientist Maria Telkes is understood for her contributions to photo voltaic vitality applied sciences.

Telkes, who died in 1995, invented the photo voltaic distiller in addition to the primary solar-powered heating system designed for residences.

On Monday, Google modified its brand in 12 nations to a doodle, or illustration, in her honor.

That is her story:


  • Telkes was born on December 12, 1900, in Budapest, Hungary. She was the daughter of Aladar and Maria Laban de Telkes.
  • Capturing vitality from the solar was an concept that intrigued scientists from an early age.
  • “I used to be solely 11 when a easy faculty experiment, the melting of sulfur, made me intensively inquisitive about chemistry,” Telkes wrote in 1964. “My mother and father have been amused and tolerant, even after a loud however innocent explosion. Avidly studying science books, I used to be experimenting.”
  • As a freshman on the College of Budapest in Hungary, she as soon as mentioned that studying the e book Power Sources of the Future by Kornel Zelovich was a defining second in her life.
  • “The e book defined that the same old vitality sources have geographical limitations, particularly within the much less developed tropical areas, however the solar is straight overhead within the tropics, and you do not have to discover it,” he mentioned.
  • The e book defined how the USA was experimenting with photo voltaic vitality, and she or he knew that was the place to go after acquiring her diploma.
  • Telkes later studied at Hungary’s Eotvos Lorand College, the place she specialised in bodily chemistry and obtained a PhD in 1924.

Journey to the US

  • The subsequent yr, Telkes arrived within the US and joined the Cleveland Clinic Basis as a biophysicist. Throughout her time there, she labored on know-how that enabled scientists to file mind waves.
  • She grew to become an American citizen in 1937. Throughout World Conflict II, she was working on the Massachusetts Institute of Know-how (MIT) as a member of its photo voltaic vitality committee.
  • “Dr Godfrey Lowell Cabot was the primary to acknowledge the significance of systematic Photo voltaic Power Conversion,” Telkes wrote. “He created a basis for this objective at [MIT]. I joined this group, being one of many comparatively few girls analysis associates at MIT for the subsequent 13 years.”
  • Amid the warfare, Telkes developed a solar-powered water desalination machine, finishing a prototype in 1942. Her invention helped US troopers posted alongside seas get clear water.
  • MIT additionally tasked Telkes and her colleagues with creating liveable solar-heated properties. Nonetheless, her proposed design failed and she or he was faraway from the committee.

‘Unimaginable issues curiosity me’

  • Regardless of the setback, Telkes’s analysis continued. In 1948, on the age of 48, she, in partnership with architect Eleanor Raymond, designed the world’s first fashionable residence heated with photo voltaic vitality.
  • “It’s the issues imagined to be unattainable that curiosity me. I love to do issues they are saying can’t be achieved,” Telkes mentioned throughout an interview in 1942.
  • At 53, she obtained a $45,000 grant from the Ford Basis to create a common photo voltaic oven.

‘The Solar Queen’

  • In 1972, Telkes additionally helped construct the primary home to generate each warmth and electrical energy from the solar. 9 years later, she helped the US authorities to develop the primary totally solar-powered dwelling.
  • She obtained the Society of Ladies Engineers Achievement Award in 1952. She retired at 77 and obtained a lifetime achievement award from the Nationwide Academy of Sciences Constructing Analysis Advisory Board.
  • Telkes additionally has greater than 20 patents to her credit score. Her contributions to the photo voltaic vitality subject earned her the nickname the “Solar Queen”.
  • After spending a number of many years within the US, Telkes returned in 1995 to Hungary, the place she handed away 10 days earlier than her ninety fifth birthday.