18-year-old Eesha Khare just won the Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award and $50,000. Why? Well, you know, no big deal, she just invented a new supercapacitor that charges in 20-30 seconds.
The device, which is small and around an inch in length, has the ability to “hold a lot of energy in a small amount of volume,” according to Khare. During the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, she showed off the device powering an LED light. However, what is more exciting is the potential of this supercapacitor to power future smartphones and tablets. Khare says that the technology might also be able to help speed up charging automobile batteries — and who knows what else at this point.
Also, according to Khare, her supercapacitor will be able to last 10,000 power cycles. That’s ten times the amount of a regular battery today.
As for what she plans on doing with all that prize money, it sounds like its in good hands:
“With this money I will be able to pay for my college and also work on making scientific advancements.”
Alongside Khare were two other winners. The first was Henry Lin of Louisiana, who received $50,000 prize for “simulating thousands of clusters of galaxies to allow scientists to better understand the mysteries of astrophysics: dark matter, dark energy and the balance of heating and cooling in the universe’s most massive objects”. The second was Ionut Budisteanu of Romania, who received $75,000 prize for “used artificial intelligence to create a viable model for a low-cost, self-driving car”.