Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Archimedes' heat rays recreated in 1973

Archimedes' heat rays is the stuff of legends. Was it real or a fable? A Greek scientist Ioannis Sakkas carried a test in 1973. From Wikipedia:

"The experiment took place at the Skaramagas naval base outside Athens. On this occasion 70 mirrors were used, each with a copper coating and a size of around five by three feet (1.5 by 1 m). The mirrors were pointed at a plywood mock-up of a Roman warship at a distance of around 160 feet (50 m). When the mirrors were focused accurately, the ship burst into flames within a few seconds. The plywood ship had a coating of tar paint, which may have aided combustion. A coating of tar would have been commonplace on ships in the classical era."

Below are two photos taken during the experiment. Not as spectacular as the heat rays in SIEGE OF SYRACUSE but cool nonetheless.

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