|Natural Glass Moldavite|
This means intense magnetization can be induced by intense light and then it's capable of producing a capacitive power source. To get this effect the light must be focused to an intensity of 10 million watts per square centimeter. Rand's associate William Fisher said “It turns out that the magnetic field starts curving the electrons into a C-shape and they move forward a little each time,” Fisher said. “That C-shape of charge motion generates both an electric dipole and a magnetic dipole. If we can set up many of these in a row in a long fiber, we can make a huge voltage and by extracting that voltage, we can use it as a power source.”
With the right material to pass light through it would be possible to achieve 10% efficiency in converting solar power to usable energy. So far they like the idea of using glass as a material to create lenses to focus the light and using fibers to guide the reaction but will experiment with various materials including transparent ceramics.
Using this method would produce solar power more cheaply than the traditional process of creating semiconductors.
Rand and his associates will be experimenting this summer with using laser light and sunlight to see which can harness more power. It will probably be years before we see the end result of this technology but it's interesting to know about this discovery.
Many more details at the University of Michigan.