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19-Year-Old Makes Homemade Solar Death Ray

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the archimedes-approved dept.

Idle 317

An anonymous reader writes "Concentrated solar power has the potential to generate immense amounts of energy — but it can also be amazingly destructive. American student Eric Jacqmain has assembled over 5,800 mirrors into his own parabolic 'solar Death Ray'."

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Mythbuster 3.0 (2, Informative)

martijnd (148684) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088622)

Looks like the mythbusters can redo this myth one more time.

Re:Mythbuster 3.0 (2)

juasko (1720212) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088680)

Just my toughts to, I'm pretty sure mythbusters could succed on many oterh things they busted with some engineering.

I would e.g. love to try to stop a moving vechle again with duct tape. They really taped that ductape fence so it would break. I'm pretty sure I would be able to tape it differently so that i would take that inpact. Either braking the concrete again or stopping the car. But I'm sure if correctly taped neider the duct tape or the concrete would break.

Re:Mythbuster 3.0 (2)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088970)

I'm sure if correctly taped neider the duct tape or the concrete would break

That depends a lot on how fast the vehicle is moving.

Re:Mythbuster 3.0 (5, Funny)

CProgrammer98 (240351) | more than 3 years ago | (#35089072)

That depends a lot on how fast the vehicle is moving.

Is that an African or a European vehicle?

Re:Mythbuster 3.0 (1)

aBaldrich (1692238) | more than 3 years ago | (#35089106)

AND how heavy it is.

Re:Mythbuster 3.0 (0)

Antarius (542615) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088710)

My first thought exactly.

But then I realised: They argued that it wasn't possible with the technology available at that time.

Re:Mythbuster 3.0 (2)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088720)

Which is bullshit. All this dude needed was a parabolic dish (and Archimedes WAS a mathematician) and reflective material. Polished metal would probably have done the trick. The mirrors on this dude's project aren't perfectly clean, either. Any imperfections due to less reflective materials could have been compensated by a larger size.

The only problematic thing is the focal point. Having it at a fixed distance isn't ideal for attacking movable objects.

Re:Mythbuster 3.0 (3, Insightful)

arivanov (12034) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088794)

That is why the legend says soldiers with polished sheets of metal. From there on the quality of aiming at the focal point depends on how good is sarge with the baton and the "give me 80 pushups in full gear" aim correction method.

Realistically a trained squad can aim and keep aimed around 40-80. Probably a 100 tops. That is more than enough to blind _ANYONE_ on the attacking ship in the days before sunglasses. I doubt that this would have been enough to set it on fire though. In any case, with the captain, skipper and most of the crew blind while facing catapults throwing burning tar buckets and 1m diameter stone balls the ship was as good as burning anyway.

Re:Mythbuster 3.0 (1)

J_Darnley (918721) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088790)

Solar Ray 3.0 has already been done. They still couldn't set fire to the boat/sail.

Mythbuster 4.0 to be exact (1)

sosaited (1925622) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088796)

Actually they have already done it 3 times. First in 2004, then with help from MIT folks in 2006 and last being the recent "President's challenge".

No adjustable focus point (3, Insightful)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088882)

The whole point of the death ray is to be able to adjust the focus point.
The Mythbusters tried to set a boat on fire... which was assumed to be an enemy boat passing along the coast.
You can't reasonably expect the enemy boats to sail exactly at the focus point of your death ray... or to either come closer or go further away in case they are not at the focus point of your death ray.

This 19-year-old hasn't made the focus point adjustable... so you can't set a moving target at a variable distance on fire with it.
Any dish shaped thing with mirrors has a focus point - especially satellite dishes - so this isn't exactly rocket science.

Re:No adjustable focus point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35089012)

If not adjustable, at least reasonably distant.

Say 50 meters (~150 feet for metrically challenged).

Less than that it's quite useless as a weapon.

And of course Mythbusters tested whether a long-distance death ray could be built by Archimedes, with era's technology (polished bronze as mirrors, for instance)

Re:No adjustable focus point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35089056)

The whole point of the death ray is to be able to adjust the focus point.
The Mythbusters tried to set a boat on fire... which was assumed to be an enemy boat passing along the coast.
You can't reasonably expect the enemy boats to sail exactly at the focus point of your death ray... or to either come closer or go further away in case they are not at the focus point of your death ray.

This 19-year-old hasn't made the focus point adjustable... so you can't set a moving target at a variable distance on fire with it.
Any dish shaped thing with mirrors has a focus point - especially satellite dishes - so this isn't exactly rocket science.

It didn't occur to you that you can move the mirrors to the correct distance? Also, a mirror that has the range necessary will also have a rather long near-optimum focal area.

Re:No adjustable focus point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35089166)

It didn't occur to you that you can move the mirrors to the correct distance?

Most likely your target isn't going to sit still while you move to the correct distance, so you need to continually move the mirror in sync with the target. Good luck with that. Also, that's only going to work on flat, unobstructed land. No standing up on a hill trying to take our the enemy, because as soon as you back up they're no longer visible.

Stay in School (4, Insightful)

jevring (618916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088626)

This is what a science education lets you do. Stay in school kids!

Re:Stay in School (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088658)

I wonder if his parents would rather he were a little less resourceful if it would get them back the shed his 'invention' burned down according to TFA.

Re:Stay in School (2)

jevring (618916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088694)

That shed is simply the cost of doing business. You can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs (or sheds, as it were). =)

Lot of energy (1)

Silpher (1379267) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088630)

Looks like lots of energy to me, burning wood that fast how many watts will that take? glass is cheap, dishes are cheap, metal container to boil water is cheap. What's the usability of such energy producing machinery?

Re:Lot of energy (2)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088682)

I have seen back yard solar barbecues that size or larger. Its just a cheap parabolic mirror with a bracket at the focus. This one lacks the bracket but otherwise he could have just bought it in the shop.

Re:Lot of energy (1)

mrjatsun (543322) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088948)

> What's the usability of such energy producing machinery?

It's amazing what you can do with 100+ year old technology... steam engine... generates electricity...
      http://www.alternative-energy-news.info/molten-salt-solar-plant/ [alternativ...-news.info]

nice device (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35088632)

reminds me of this : http://www.solarplaza.com/news/spain-abengoa-fires-up-worlds-largest-solar-tow

Electricity? (1)

conares (1045290) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088634)

couldnt this be used to boost solar cells?

Re:Electricity? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088652)

Solar concentrators are used for photovoltaic cells.

Re:Electricity? (2)

juasko (1720212) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088654)

Well even better get that light lazerised you get one heck of a powerful lazer. Not sure though how that would be done. But I guess could very efficient if successful. Maybe with a prisma first to spearate different wavelengths and then generate lasers with a cluster of different wavelengths and energylevels and then finally allign all of them on one single spot.

Anyone knowlegable enough in lazer technology to give some insights. Man you could shoot down satelites with that if you got it to work. Or you could burn down space waste.

Re:Electricity? (5, Informative)

ZombieWomble (893157) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088768)

I can provide the following insight: Lasers do not work that way.

More specifically, there are two issues with your suggestion. Firstly, lasers are not power-limited by input light, but rather by the design of the lasing cavity and how efficiently it stimulates further emission. Many types do need a decent kick to get them going, but beyond that a bright source offers little or no benefit.

Secondly, even if more input light was useful, this mirror doesn't actually provide that much power. It's just the use of the parabolic reflector to concentrate the energy into a small energy that makes it look impressive. Looking at the dish, it's a few square metres in area, at most. That's only a few kW of light in total, of which only a tiny portion is at any one wavelength which would be useful for pumping a laser. An appropriate pump laser or even a decent flashlamp would be vastly better than this for stimulating laser emission.

Also, LASER. Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.

Well... (1)

golden age villain (1607173) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088636)

The 19-year old claims that his solar device has the intensity of 5,000 suns.

Yeah right! Sure!

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35088686)

Why don't you do the math to disprove it?

Re:Well... (1)

sjwt (161428) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088866)

It looks likes from the pictures and video that the focus area is about 6-8 times larger then the mirrors.

5800/6 = 966.6...

Now i'm sure the spreed isn't 100% even, but you could most likely call it at 2-3k

Re:Well... (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088740)

Yeah right! Sure!

Yes indeed it has, so what is your problem with it? Go read TFA and go watch the movie ... sigh

Re:Well... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35088900)

No, it doesn't. There's a big difference between the concentrated light of a few rays at ground level, in atmosphere, vs. the concentrated power of entire stars.

The kid is full of crap. He saw the solar power stations, thought "I could try that", stuck mirrors on a satellite dish, and found it actually did burn stuff. Now he's talking it up. Big deal.

But it does show that existing, cheap tech might be more useful for small scale home solar power.

Re:Well... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35089112)

There's a big difference between the concentrated light of a few rays at ground level, in atmosphere, vs. the concentrated power of entire stars.

Intensity, you retard. It's 5,000 times the intensity of the sun, as experienced here on Earth.

Re:Well... (2)

Fleetie (603229) | more than 3 years ago | (#35089066)

The concentrated spot of light cannot even be quite 1 x the brightness of the sun. Never mind ">5000 times brighter". The laws of thermodynamics say so. You cannot focus an image of a light source so as to make the intensity at that focus more intense than the light source itself. Kudos for good execution of his idea, but that ">5000 times brighter" claim is just plain wrong.

Sunstroke (2)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088656)

You could get a nasty case of sunstroke [blogspot.com] from that thing.

It's a bit redundant though (2)

thewils (463314) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088660)

I mean the focus is close enough that he could kill anything anyway by smacking it over the head with the reflector. Be nice if the focus was a bit further away.

Re:It's a bit redundant though (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35088708)

Yes, and it will not help him when I attack with my freeze-gun on a cloudy winters-day!

Re:It's a bit redundant though (2, Funny)

NotASerialKiller (1989142) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088716)

Bludgeoning a tied-down victim isn't nearly as satisfying as listening to his wails of protest combined with the sweet smell of burning flesh.

Re:It's a bit redundant though (5, Funny)

digitig (1056110) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088826)

What, you mean the victim is a vegan and you've invited him to a BBQ?

Obligatory pedantic comment (1, Informative)

wdef (1050680) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088670)

Solar power does not "generate" energy. Energy is liberated by conversion from mass through nuclear reactions in the Sun. Solar power collects and transforms radiant energy into heat and then into useful work, like burning something up.

Well I did warn you, you didn't have to read it!

Re:Obligatory pedantic comment (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35088698)

Solar power collects and transforms radiant energy into heat and then into useful work, like burning something up.

Solar energy IS heat and light and other forms of electromagnetic radiation.

YOU started that pedantic thread!

Re:Obligatory pedantic comment (2)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088862)

My thought exactly. This merely focuses sunlight. It doesn't generate any energy, or even convert it for that matter.

Re:Obligatory pedantic question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35088950)

What does that complement definition leave for the actual "generation of energy". Is there any acceptable process that generates energy?

Re:Obligatory pedantic question (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | more than 3 years ago | (#35089028)

Big bang type events may actually be generating energy, but other than that everything is conversion. The common definition of generating energy can be seen as converting it from a useless type (tied up in an atom, in oil or flowing as radiation) to a more useful type (electricity or molecular bonds).

Archimedes already did this.. (3, Informative)

intellitech (1912116) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088678)

Like ~2,000 years ago [wikipedia.org] . Talk about an old story.

Re:Archimedes already did this.. (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088946)

Not quite. It's more like his enemies at that siege said he'd done that, and no one's been able to replicate it since, unlike almost every other crazy machine Archimedes figured out.

May 17, 2007 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35089136)

The Light Sharpener...

http://www.cockeyed.com/incredible/solardish/dish01.shtml

Nathan

5,000 suns? (1)

Andy Smith (55346) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088692)

"The 19-year old claims that his solar device has the intensity of 5,000 suns."

Surely it has the intensity of 5,800 x the amount of solar energy collected by a tiny mirror 93m miles away from the sun?

Also lol @ it being destroyed in a shed fire -- I wonder how that came about? :-)

Re:5,000 suns? (2)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088916)

"The 19-year old claims that his solar device has the intensity of 5,000 suns."

Surely it has the intensity of 5,800 x the amount of solar energy collected by a tiny mirror 93m miles away from the sun?

It is the intensity [wikipedia.org] (in W/sqm) not the energy or power. Given that he uses 5800 small mirrors concentrating the radiation on 1 sq.cm... here you go.

Questions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35088696)

What if I took a picture of it with my flash on?

Would I be vaporized or at least slightly singed?

Speaking of which...

How did they even take a picture of it without burning to death?

Re:Questions? (1)

sjwt (161428) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088878)

doubt it, as the point source of the light when it is produced is smaller then the focal point, and all the loss and non-directed light.

Title is little misleading, to say the least. (1, Insightful)

dr.Flake (601029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088700)

5800 mirrors, the size of fingernails. Glued on an already parabolic disc.

Couldn't he just have spray canned it with some reflective paint??

I imagined at least 10x10cm mirrors. Now that would have been "solar power".

wake me up when he heating his house with this. This little satellite disc is kids stuff.

Re:Title is little misleading, to say the least. (3, Informative)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088756)

5800 mirrors, the size of fingernails. Glued on an already parabolic disc.

He used an old satellite dish.

Couldn't he just have spray canned it with some reflective paint??

Or glued aluminum foil over it. Or chrome plated it. He chose the most cumbersome way. Everyone who works cutting glass gets some nicked fingers from time to time, imagine cutting 5800 tiny pieces.

I imagined at least 10x10cm mirrors. Now that would have been "solar power".

True, if there had been 5800 10x10cm mirrors. For the same surface size, the smallest the mirrors are the better focus he will get. Ideally, the surface should have an infinite number of infinitely small mirrors, i.e. it would be a smooth parabolic surface.

Re:Title is little misleading, to say the least. (5, Informative)

jovius (974690) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088822)

The tiny mirror pieces are from a mirror ball. Yes, I actually do go out sometimes.

Re:Title is little misleading, to say the least. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35089060)

Your last parragraph is correct except for this "smooth parabolic surface"
These small flat mirrors are the best way to go ( cost wise and practicality). A smooth parabolic mirror results in a lot of loss via scatter. It needs to be an almost perfectly shaped parrabollic mirror to avoid this and get a decent focus. This increased the cost dramatically. Thousands of flat "real mirrors" produce a better reflective surface and can be placed and focused at a specific point by hand.

Heating rock and concrete to the point of glowing and melting tin is impressive for something this size, he is probably getting somwhere close to 1000W concentrated into a 1 - 2 cm area.

Harvest the power.

Re:Title is little misleading, to say the least. (2)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35089082)

he is probably getting somewhere close to 1000W

Judging from the size of the reflector it's less than 500W. A small arc welder putting 25 amps at 20 volts will put out 500W on a small spot and melt steel instantly, so it's not such a big deal

Re:Title is little misleading, to say the least. (2)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088848)

Dude, 5800 mirrors is nothing. I hold in my hand a solar death ray device that has probably billions of nanomirrors on it, each carefully aimed to focus light at a point.

Re:Title is little misleading, to say the least. (1)

psergiu (67614) | more than 3 years ago | (#35089042)

A spoon ? A wok ?

Yep it can be much simpler (1)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 3 years ago | (#35089100)

Couldn't he just have spray canned it with some reflective paint??

In middle school back in the 70's my brother covered the underside of an umbrella with aluminium foil, turned it over, mounted a grate on the handle/shaft near the focus, and grilled hot dogs using sunlight. It can be made much quicker.

Re:Title is little misleading, to say the least. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35089138)

"This little satellite disc is kids stuff."

umm last time I checked a 19 year old is still a "kid". I would like to see your adult projects: have a link?

Not Convenient Enough... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35088718)

To use as a pocket lighter. Moreover, it might ignite one's face if trying to light a cigarette. Thus, I see this as nothing more than lawsuit waiting to happen. You just know some idiot is going to roast his/her face and then blame it on this kid.

World War 2 (1)

bobbinspenguin (1988368) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088722)

The Japanese spent ages working on a death ray in World War 2. How long til something like this ends up in active service?

World War Peace. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35089026)

Wonderful, now all wars will be confined to daylight hours. Anyway I guess the title to this story wouldn't have drawn as many eyeballs if he was building a "solar peace ray".

This is retarded. (1, Insightful)

Seggybop (835060) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088728)

So he got an existing parabolic dish (satellite receiver) and covered it in reflective material, inexplicably using thousands of tiny pieces of mirror instead of a simple, readily available sheet or coating, used it to burn some stuff for lulz, then left it out somewhere such that it started a fire and burnt itself up. Very pro. This is surely a wonderful, novel demonstration of human ingenuity and cleverness. =/

Re:This is retarded. (2)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088976)

> This is surely a wonderful, novel demonstration of human ingenuity and cleverness. =/

Everyone is missing the real point --- in actuality, he only did it to be able to collect the insurance money on his (over-insured) shed without raising the suspicions of the investigators.

The miracle is that a 19 year old persisted (2)

anti-NAT (709310) | more than 3 years ago | (#35089052)

for that long doing a menial task.

Re:The miracle is that a 19 year old persisted (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35089190)

Come on, when we were 19 we spent hours writing computer programs or other nonsense. If the guy was 12 now that would be a feat...

Re:This is retarded. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35089092)

You're retarded, small focused flat mirrors are more efficient and less prone to scatter than a non perfect parabolic shape. Not to mention the reflectivity of actual mirror is far superior to any sprays or sheeting you could cheaply purchase. There is a reason the cells of production solar plants use flat mirrors that they combine to form a parrabolic array.

Not so great news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35088734)

As people have already mentioned, this is nothing new. Gluing small mirrors on a preexistent parabolic surface is... tedious work, but nothing spectacular.

This guy's been doing it longer and bigger... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35088760)

Check out this guys "Light Sharpener" project...

http://www.cockeyed.com/incredible/solardish/dish23.shtml [cockeyed.com]

Power output (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35088762)

Sun power is ~ 1 KW/m*2 (full sun)

Good way for self distruction... (2)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088766)

He said it was destroyed in a shed fire. He must have left it near a window in the shed. Now that's funny.

Re:Good way for self distruction... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35088908)

At around 0:48, he's dragging the dish around on the cart, with the dish aimed at himself. ... Seems like a decent way of setting your pants on fire, if you're not careful.

Cool, but too scary for me to do. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35088770)

This is a really cool toy, but way too powerful for me to be comfortable having it anywhere near me. It's like having a loaded gun in the house, except that there are no standard safety procedures to follow for storage and use. It'd be too easy to have a serious accident. Heck the kid even destroyed his shed with that very same death ray.

Re:Cool, but too scary for me to do. (2)

pisto_grih (1165105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088838)

How To Keep Your Solar Death Ray Safe:

Step 1) When not burning things, keep your Sola Death Ray covered with an opaque fabric.
Step 2) ...
Step 3) Profit!!

PhEeew! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35088774)

There's nothing to worry about, everyone stay calm!

And me thinking a 19yr old had a death ray to blow up the sun...silly me...

Now excuse me i have to go drive my explosion death engine.

Re:PhEeew! (1)

quiet down (1795010) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088902)

Does that engine come with a car attached to it?

This does not belong on /. Front page (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35088812)

This is not news, me and my entire physics class made these in 11th grade and managed to fry steaks to an edible level.

Wow, really slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35088884)

Oddly enough, the focal point is probably exactly where the feedhorn would be. Not really hard to figure out, especially when the satellite tv dish manufacturer has already done the engineering for you.
And really this is the same principle as a magnifying glass, only bigger. Hardly "death ray" material.
Create a parabolic with a focus capable of melting a car 50 meters away - then I'll be impressed.

In other news (0)

lul_wat (1623489) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088940)

Sampenzus posts Idle article on Slashdot with misleading headline.

In the Himalayas... (4, Interesting)

slim (1652) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088944)

In the Himalayas, parabolic mirrors around this size are commonly used to boil kettles of water for tea/cooking.

It works at those altitudes, because the sunlight is more intense (less having been absorbed by the atmosphere), and because water boils at a lower temperature at the lower atmospheric pressure.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_cooker#Solar_kettles [wikipedia.org]

Re:In the Himalayas... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35089064)

The purpose of boiling water is to make it hot. The actual boiling is a side effect. The fact that the effect kicks in earlier at higher altitudes is not an advantage. Saying "it works" because the water is boiling is missing the point. "It works" because it raises the water to a useful temperature, boiling or not.

Re:In the Himalayas... (2)

slim (1652) | more than 3 years ago | (#35089176)

True, although for making a cup of tea, you want the water as hot as you can get it, and boiling represents that temperature. I suppose you might say, you can't make a decent cup of tea at altitude, because you can't get the water hot enough.

In cooking, you might be boiling the liquid in order to reduce it, and lower atmospheric pressure means you can achieve that with less energy.

Re:In the Himalayas... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35089090)

Same thing works at any altitude, it just might take a bit longer to get the water to boil.

Welcome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35088952)

I for one welcome our new 19 year old, death ray equipped overlords.

Homeland Security (1)

Yuioup (452151) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088954)

Department of Homeland Security in three ... two ... one ...

Oh wait. He's not a foreigner. Carry on.

Complicated and out of dated (1)

lolop (677387) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088956)

He choosed a very complicated way to just build a solar oven ("four solaire" in french).
http://www.google.com/images?q=four+solaire [google.com]
http://www.google.com/images?q=solar+oven [google.com]

Reading the new, I thought I will see a fool building a new solar plant in his garden... Like (in smaller size) the one in Spain (PS10), or the one in france (Odeillo).
http://www.ecosources.info/images/energie_industrie/Tour-solaire-concentration-PS10.jpg [ecosources.info]
http://www.heliome-solaire.fr/l_energie-solaire/utiliser-l_energie-solaire/four-solaire-odeillo.jpg [heliome-solaire.fr]

Note: if its just to burn some stuff, my chidren use a magnifying glass and its enough.

Intensity of 5000 suns? (1)

Lose (1901896) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088962)

If it truely did have such capacity, I'm pretty sure it'd burn a hole in the atmosphere. It barely has the intensity of one.

Ankit Jain (0)

salwars (1917960) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088968)

Nowadays every person is getting advanced soon.. Indian Sarees [sareez.com]

As a thought (1)

symes (835608) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088980)

Would it be possible to pass the focussed light through a lens to make a concentrated ray? Or would the lens melt?

Here's the plan... (1)

loonyjuice (1744114) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088990)

We get the warhead and we hold the world ransom for... ONE MILLION DOLLARS!

It can't be a death ray... (1)

bobbinspenguin (1988368) | more than 3 years ago | (#35088992)

...unless it has an exposed exhaust port?

And he destroyed the focus (2)

Wdi (142463) | more than 3 years ago | (#35089002)

These mirrors are pretty thick, and when glued on the surface of the dish, he actually ended up with the mirror surface being out of alignment, so the focus point is far more smeared than that of the original, precisely designed and aligned dish.

The proper thing to do would have been to chemically deposit a very thin silver layer on the dish surface. This is actually not difficult to achieve. The mentioned spray paint or aluminum foil solutions are also better than his really, really crude approach.

Re:And he destroyed the focus (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35089044)

The reflective part of a mirror is behind the glass, so the thickness is realy irrelevant. There is a point in the fact the mirrors are not curved so some misalignment would result. It seems to work well enough though.

cool backyard project but not "death ray" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35089006)

Solar Oven, not "death ray";
its not a myth, not something for that TV show;
mirror method must have been cumbersome but appears effective;
close focal point is for safety!;
that tin-can aiming method is not unique but is pragmatic.

ummm,,,, (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#35089098)

He bedazzled a satellite dish, mounted it on a wagon with a 2x4 a painted it silver? This made it on Slashdot?

The Big Bang Theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35089122)

In your face, Sheldon Cooper!

Arch Nemesis (1)

Squeeonline (1323439) | more than 3 years ago | (#35089130)

Solar death ray defeated only by its arch nemeses, "Cloudy Day", and "Shed".

Death to my enemies! (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#35089188)

As long as they hold very still at exactly two feet away from me. Would you place your head directly on the focal point of my rig? Thans, I appreciate it, it's a pain the ass to aim this thing.
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