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1820, Mar 241891, May 11
a French physicist who studied the solar spectrum, magnetism, electricity and optics. He is credited with the discovery of the photovoltaic effect, the operating principle of the solar cell, in 1839. He is also known for his work in luminescence and phosphorescence. He was the son of Antoine César Becquerel and the father of Henri Becquerel, one of the discoverers of radioactivity. Becquerel was born in Paris and was in turn the pupil, assistant and successor of his father at the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle. He was also appointed professor at the short-lived Agronomic Institute at Versailles in 1849, and in 1853 received the chair of physics at the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers.
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