A form of ionic propulsion in which the power for the ion engine is provided by solar cells.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
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"Supposing the Mechanical Phase to have lasted 300 years, from 1600 to 1900, the next or Electric Phase would have a life equal to (the square root of 300), or about seventeen years and a half, when—that is, in 1917Mit would pass into another or Ethereal Phase, which, for half a century, science has been promising, and which would last only (the square root of 17.5), or about four years, and bring Thought to the limit of its possibilities in the year 1921. It may well be!"