Edmond Becquerel, Discoverer of the Photovoltaic Effect, to be honored at Symposium held on the 200th Anniversary of his Birthday

21 October 2019

Photovoltaics is a young, commercially available clean energy technology, however, its origin goes back to 1839 when Edmond Becquerel first reported the effect of light on the generation of electric currents in matter. Today, photovoltaics has become a pillar of the energy system transformation. The symposium in recognition of Edmond Becquerel will be held on March 24, 2020 in Paris.

The Becquerel Prize Committee brings together some of the world’s leading researchers in photovoltaics. Meeting at the European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference in Marseille in September 2019, the committee wholeheartedly endorsed a celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Edmond Becquerel, taking the form of a symposium.

The symposium will also revisit his pioneering work on color photography and phosphorescence, and will take place at the National Museum of Natural History, where Edmond Becquerel was a professor. It will recall the exceptional contributions to science made by the Becquerel family: from his father Antoine to his son Henri, who discovered radioactivity and received the Nobel Prize in 1903, together with Marie and Pierre Curie.

The celebration aims to give Edmond Becquerel the historical recognition he deserves and to shine light on the importance of accelerating solar energy conversion with photovoltaics as we face an unprecedented climate change challenge.

For further information: Dr. Daniel Lincot, Chairman of the Anniversary, CNRS- Institut Photovoltaïque de l’Île de France (IPVF) – Daniel.lincot@cnrs.fr

The Becquerel Prize was established by the European Commission in 1989. Its purpose is to honor scientific, technical or managerial merit in the development of photovoltaic solar energy.


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