Google is honouring Maria Telkes, a Hungarian-American biophysicist, scientist and inventor who worked on solar energy technologies. Born on December 12, 1900, in Budapest, Ms Telkes was best known for her invention of the solar distiller and the first solar-powered heating system designed for residences, according to Encyclopaedia Britannica. She also created devices that were capable of capturing and storing the solar energy. She died on December 2, 1995, in the Hungarian capital. Ms Telkes was given the sobriquet ‘Sun Queen’ for her pioneering work.
In a career spanning several decades, Ms Telkes earned as many as 20 patents and invested several breakthrough technologies. The Google doodle today is celebrating her 122nd birth anniversary.
The animated doodle shows Ms Telkes’ photo and her solar experiment in the background. It shows how solar energy is captured and is used to power various gadgets in the homes of the people.
— Google Doodles EN (@Doodle123_EN) December 11, 2022
As the sun sets, the homes are still lit using the solar energy captured by the gadgets, as seen in the doodle.
Ms Telkes was raised in Budapest. She studied physical chemistry in her hometown and graduated with a BA in 1920 and completed her PhD in 1924.
Dr Telkes continued her career at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as a member of the Solar Energy Committee. During the Second World War, she was called upon by the US government to help develop a solar distiller that converted seawater into fresh water. This life-saving invention was used by soldiers stationed in the Pacific theater.
Ms Telkes became an American citizen in 1937. She continued to develop solar-energy applications until the end of her career. Along with American architect Eleanor Raymond, she designed and constructed the world’s first modern residence heated with solar energy, which was built in Dover, Massachusetts, in 1948.
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