An expert on electronic and photonic integrated circuits, Ali Hajimiri is investigating how to collect solar power in space — and transmit the energy wirelessly to Earth.

Why you should listen

Ali Hajimiri is a tireless inventor always looking to come up with innovative, realistic solutions to seemingly impossible problems by applying scientific and engineering principles. Most recently, as co-director of the Space Solar Power Project, he's been focused on building a prototype of a modular, ultralight, foldable device to collect sunlight, convert it to electrical power, then convert it to microwave using integrated circuits (electronic chips) and wirelessly transmit that power in a steerable beam. The hope? To bring to reality a vision first described in 1942 by Isaac Asimov of collecting solar power in space and wirelessly transmitting it for use on Earth.

Hajimiri is the Bren professor of electrical engineering and medical engineering at California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and director of the Holistic Integrated Circuit Laboratory. He has founded several companies, including Axiom Microdevices and GuRu Wireless, holds more than 160 patents and is the author of several books, book chapters and nearly 300 peer-reviewed publications. He was awarded the Feynman Prize for excellence in teaching, Caltech's most prestigious teaching honor. He is also a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Ali Hajimiri’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Ali Hajimiri

Live from TED2023

Ideas that are way, way out there: Notes on Session 4 of TED2023

April 19, 2023

In a session that was by turns soul-stirring, uproariously funny, deadly serious and brilliantly colorful, seven speakers transported the TED audience to a solar engineering project in outer space, a 24-hour concert and performance, a movement to prove that birds aren’t real and more. The event: Talks from Session 4 of TED2023: Possibility, hosted by […]

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