Science: Sun Electricity

When Bell Telephone Laboratories announced its silicon solar battery (TIME, May 3, 1954), it fired the imaginations of the science fictionists, and the solar system was soon abuzz with solar-powered space ships. Trimming their silicon sails to catch the sunlight, spacemen used the electricity generated by the batteries to push themselves from planet to planet.

More practical imaginations were fired too. Last week National Fabricated Products Inc., a Chicago electronics manufacturer, announced that it has had more than 500 inquiries about the silicon batteries which it has just started making commercially under license from Bell Lab's parent company. Western Electric. Inquiries...

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