"Daryl Muscott Chapin (21 July 1906 – 19 January 1995) was an American physicist, best known for co-inventing solar cells in 1954 during his work at Bell Labs alongside Calvin S. Fuller and Gerald Pearson. For this, he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2008."
Daryl Chapin, 88, A Co-Developer Of Solar Energy Cell By DOUGLAS MARTINJAN. 22, 1995 (New York Times)
Daryl M. Chapin, a scientist who helped invent a device for converting sunlight into electricity, died in his sleep on Thursday at his home in Naples, Fla. He was 88.
His daughter, Audrey Svennsen, said that he had had a weak heart, but that the cause of death was not known. On Thursday afternoon, she said, he worked with a friend on a new board game for the blind.
Mr. Chapin worked with Gerald L. Pearson and Calvin S. Fuller to develop the first practical solar cell, Mr. Ford said. The device was demonstrated in 1954 and in 1962 was used to provide power for A.T.& T.'s Telstar communications satellite, leading the way to other applications in space.
The device Mr. Chapin helped create used silicon, the principal ingredient of common sand, to convert sunlight directly into electricity. It achieved a 6 percent rate of efficiency, which compared favorably with steam and gasoline engines. Press reports at the time said this rate was six times more efficient than previous tries at solar power.
In 1959, Mr. Chapin simplified the process, which became a widely used science experiment for advanced high school students, Mr. Ford said. Mr. Chapin wrote a textbook, "Energy From the Sun," to accompany the experiment.
Mr. Chapin was born in Ellensburg, Wash., and spent his early years in Salem, Ore. He received his bachelor's degree from Willamette University and a master's degree from the University of Washington. He taught physics at Oregon State College for a year before joining Bell Labs in 1930. In 1956, he received an honorary doctorate by Willamette.
He was honored in the same year by the City of Philadelphia, which awarded him the John Scott Medal.
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