California Teen Invents Device That Can Charge Cell Phones In 20 Seconds

By Binu Paul , Updated May 25, 2013 11:50 AM EDT

With this tiny device invented by an 18-year-old high-school student, you will no longer have to wait for hours for a cellphone to charge. Eesha Khare from Saratoga in California invented a super-capacitor device that could potentially charge a cellphone in as little as 20 seconds.

Khare won a $50,000 prize for her invention and was chosen as one of the two winners of the Young Scientist Awards at Intel's International Science and Engineering Fair held in Phoenix, Arizona.

"I'm in a daze. I can't believe this happened," Khare tells CNN affiliate KPIX 5. "I developed a new super capacitor, which is basically an energy storage device which can hold a lot of energy in a small amount of volume." Khare looks forward to a day when her technology may also be able to speed up charging of automobile batteries.

The other winner of the reputed award was Henry Lin, of Shreveport, Louisiana who was also awarded $50,000 for simulating thousands of clusters of galaxies to provide scientists with valuable new data, allowing them 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 top price went to 19-year-old Ionut Budisteanu of Romania for using artificial intelligence to create a viable model for a low-cost, self-driving car.

Intel cited Khare for recognizing the crucial need for energy-efficient storage devices and said her technology has potential applications for car batteries.

"We congratulate Ionut, Eesha and Henry on their success at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair this week in Phoenix," says Elizabeth Marincola, president of Society for Science & the Public, in a statement. "Their research demonstrates the value of hard work and creative thinking. All the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair finalists here this week show great promise in harnessing the power of science and innovation to solve problems and create opportunity for our global community."

Eesha Khare said the prize amount will help fund her college education at Harvard University.

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