c994d02922b4f232d0dcff70499775a7084fa52a Google Doodle honours solar energy pioneer Maria Telkes.
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Google Doodle honours solar energy pioneer Maria Telkes.

Maria Telkes, an American scientist of Hungarian descent, is known as the "Queen of the Sun" for her groundbreaking work in the field of solar energy, which led to the development of numerous innovations, including the first solar-powered house.

Google created an animated Doodle in honour of Telkes on Monday, her 122nd birthday, to honour his achievements to science. The Doodle displays some of the ways we may use solar energy, such as her creations for a solar oven, solar heating system, and a solar-powered desalination device to purify seawater into drinkable quantities.

Telkes, who was born on December 12th in Budapest, graduated with a doctorate and a bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of Budapest before relocating to the US in 1924 to work as a biophysicist at Westinghouse, where she worked on metal alloys to aid in the conversion of heat into electricity. She started working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1939 and joined the institution's solar energy conversion project there.

In order to create a solar-powered water desalination device that may offer soldiers with safe drinking water in hard-to-reach locations, the US government hired Telkes during World War II. She went back to MIT after the war, where in 1945 she was appointed an associate research professor.

She created a solar heating system at MIT for the Dover Sun House, the first home heated only by the sun. Later, when employed at New York University, she created a solar-powered oven that is still in use today and enables those without access to electricity to prepare hot meals.

She became the first person to receive the Society of Women Engineers Achievement Award in 1952, and in 2012, she was inducted to the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

Telkes passed away at the age of 94 in 1995 while making her first trip back to Budapest after relocating to the US seventy years earlier.

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