Light has been our source of knowledge and inspiration for years. Sun is the natural source of light. Investigation on light had started long back for its mysterious nature and ability to do things that were once thought will go unexplained. Scientists have proved many of the theories and still a very large part of light’s phenomenon’s needs to be discovered.
It has been proved long back that the light possesses both magnetic effect and electric effect. Till date many researchers have been made utilizing the electric effect of light. In recent times, the magnetic effect of light have been probed by researchers and physicists of various universities. One among the foremost researches is from university of michigan where some amazing ways were discovered to utilize the magnetic property of light.
Dr. Stephen rand and Dr. Fisher from the University of Michigan discovered a new effect from light’s properties. They discovered a new technique of capturing energy from the sun without using solar panels which ultimately could lead to an “optical battery.” This optical battery can switch sunlight to electricity at a very minimal cost as compared to today’s photovoltaic cells. They also concluded that light possesses both magnetic and electric qualities. However, the effects of light’s magnetic field were so weak as to be utilized.
When Dr. Rand and Dr. Fisher later on shone though a non-conductive material like glass, they found that light is intense enough to generate voltage from the magnetic effect which is almost 100 million times stronger than earlier expected. The magnetic effect, so generated can be used to produce electric power. The intense light can produce a powerful magnetic field which is strong enough to provide a capacitive power source. Thus, a new kind of solar cells was discovered, which do not require semiconductors to absorb heat energy to produce electricity.
The primary reason for generation of electric field was due to optical rectification. Crystalline materials possess certain symmetry which produces electric effect due to forceful separation of charges which is caused by light. Dr. Rand and Dr. Fisher discovered that even materials which are non conductors of electricity are able to produce optical rectification with the help of light’s magnetic field under general conditions.
Dr. Fisher further added that the sunlight, itself is effective to produce charge separation but is not as intense which is required to produce electrical energy. The light with an intensity of 10 million watts per square centimeter is required to be passed through a non conductor of electricity.
Thus with the help of this newly evolved technique source of cheaper, efficient and useable solar energy was discovered.