Skip to comments.Look what I made, mum! Teenager builds 'death-ray' which can burn through almost anything
Posted on 02/03/2011 5:15:15 AM PST by numberonepal
Eric Jacqmain, from Indiana in the US, covered an ordinary fibreglass satellite dish with 5,800 tiny mirror tiles - and made his very own 'death ray'. When aligned correctly it can generate a heat spot a couple of centimetres across, with an intensity of 5,000 shining suns, the 19-year-old claims. The inventor then posted video of his invention on YouTube, with people commenting in awe of the power of the satellite. The ray generates enough power to melt steel, vaporize aluminum, boil concrete, turn dirt into lava, and obliterate any organic material in an instant. It stands at 5ft 9ins and measures just 42 inches across. Jacqmain, commenting on YouTube said : 'I drilled a small hole in the dish and glued a piece of PVC pipe on the back. 'Light shines through the hole and hits the translucent plastic on the end of the pipe. All I had to do was aim the dish once and mark the spot. 'As long as the target doesn't conduct heat away too fast it will melt or vaporize just about anything eventually. 'I have vaporized before carbon, which occurs above 6,500 Fahrenheit.' The American teenager called his invention the R5800 solar 'death ray'.
Unfortunately for Jacqmain, his 'death ray' dish met it's own grisly end when it was destroyed in a shed fire. Jacqmain added: 'Yeah. It "committed suicide". It's very likely that it was the cause of the fire...' If there was ever a case of self-destruction, this was it. But Jacqmain's despair at the death of his 'death ray' has simply spurred him on to develop a yet more powerful alternative. 'Plans already in place for the new one, he added. 'The goal is to use about 32,000 mirrors this time.'
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
I hope he chooses to use his powers for GOOD!
The parabolic mirror technology is at least 1000 years old.
It burned, but I’m sure he can build another one. A future entrepreneur, no doubt.
Seems it would be easy to convert the energy into a home power source.
The boy launched the item into orbit? Now I'm impressed.
Oh, wait, I see ... the author doesn't know what "satellite" means.
It does indeed seem it would be easy to heat hot water or power something with steam. Get off the bike Gilligan, I have a mirror!
I have caught many “locals” referring to their satellite dish receiver as their “satellite”...
“We have a satellite in our back yard”
“Oh, really? Did it crash there?”
he needs to direct that focal point... make some kind of rudimentary prism to collect direct that beam... then he’d have something?
? = !
Someone needs to turn this kid onto some welders gloves. He’s just asking to burn off his hand.
I heard this was fake.
NEVER LOOK DIRECTLY AT DEATH RAY - it’s say so right on the box ...
It also says... "Not for human consumption."
Kid, you’ll put your eye out!
“The parabolic mirror technology is at least 1000 years old.”
Burning mirrors date back to the ancient Greeks, and maybe earlier.
Do not taunt Happy Fun Death Ray...
Future Bond villain!
Do you have a link? There are many You Tube videos of parabolic mirror doing similar things.
Except for a Chuck Norris roundhouse kick...
Probably a fairly effective directed-energy source ... as long as it’s a sunny day.
-—hogwash—anybody who believes this needs to get sufficiently up to speed to take a high school physics course-—
“Uh huh. Did anyone suggest remedial math and astronomy for the kid?”
He’s probably a marketing major.
It’s a solar oven, not a death ray. The light—and heat—are concentrated at the focus of the mirror, not projected outward. Still, it’s a fun high school project, and requires careful mechanical work to be that effective.
A large fresnel lens will get you to the same place. Focusing the solar energy of a large area into a single beam or point.
These things are extremely dangerous...this kid better be real careful.
But not everyone has a large fresnel lense lying around in their yard or shed.
Old satellite dishes are easy to come by and 1/2” mirror tiles cost about $15 per thousand on ebay.
I seem to recall reading about some Greek guy doing this about 2500 years ago but then that’s anchient history. Then again there was all that parabolic mirror stuff back in the Carter era during the oil embargos again ancient history. I seems it’s true that people who don’t learn history are doomed to repeat it.
Yeah he did a fine job and should be encouraged. I suspect we have a case of basic media malpractice with the hype about this.
It’s a usage I had not heard before.
I’t the Daily Mail. They make the National Enquirer look like a reputable newspaper.
I made one of these a couple years ago from some cardboard boxes and aluminum foil. Stuck it out in the sun and the thing got up to about 220 degrees.
Solar ovens are a neat tech. Some variations have parabolic mirrors:
The parabolic ones are dangerous though. You put your hand or your face at the focal point of the mirror and you’ll lose ‘em.
Seems it would be easy to convert the energy into a home power source.
...until one considers the sun.
Not always available
not in the same place ever. One needs a tracking device.
One third of the time, is hidden.
the efficiency starts off not very good, and gets worse.
the device needs to be in space, following the sun 24 7 and then it would be prohibitively expensive, or on tracks at the equator, and the same scenario would apply. Not agin it, just saying.
Yea, right! I suspect it's been placed in a secret location so as not to be stolen by enemy agents......
Way to go kid!
The Archimedes Heat Ray
Archimedes may have used mirrors acting collectively as a parabolic reflector to burn ships attacking Syracuse.
The 2nd century AD author Lucian wrote that during the Siege of Syracuse (c. 214212 BC), Archimedes destroyed enemy ships with fire. Centuries later, Anthemius of Tralles mentions burning-glasses as Archimedes’ weapon. The device, sometimes called the “Archimedes heat ray”, was used to focus sunlight onto approaching ships, causing them to catch fire.
This purported weapon has been the subject of ongoing debate about its credibility since the Renaissance. René Descartes rejected it as false, while modern researchers have attempted to recreate the effect using only the means that would have been available to Archimedes. It has been suggested that a large array of highly polished bronze or copper shields acting as mirrors could have been employed to focus sunlight onto a ship. This would have used the principle of the parabolic reflector in a manner similar to a solar furnace.
A test of the Archimedes heat ray was carried out in 1973 by the Greek scientist Ioannis Sakkas. 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.
In October 2005 a group of students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology carried out an experiment with 127 one-foot (30 cm) square mirror tiles, focused on a mock-up wooden ship at a range of around 100 feet (30 m). Flames broke out on a patch of the ship, but only after the sky had been cloudless and the ship had remained stationary for around ten minutes. It was concluded that the device was a feasible weapon under these conditions. The MIT group repeated the experiment for the television show MythBusters, using a wooden fishing boat in San Francisco as the target. Again some charring occurred, along with a small amount of flame. In order to catch fire, wood needs to reach its autoignition temperature, which is around 300 °C (570 °F).
When MythBusters broadcast the result of the San Francisco experiment in January 2006, the claim was placed in the category of “busted” (or failed) because of the length of time and the ideal weather conditions required for combustion to occur. It was also pointed out that since Syracuse faces the sea towards the east, the Roman fleet would have had to attack during the morning for optimal gathering of light by the mirrors. MythBusters also pointed out that conventional weaponry, such as flaming arrows or bolts from a catapult, would have been a far easier way of setting a ship on fire at short distances.
In December 2010, MythBusters again looked at the heat ray story in a special edition featuring Barack Obama, entitled President’s Challenge. Several experiments were carried out, including a large scale test with 500 schoolchildren aiming mirrors at a mock-up of a Roman sailing ship 400 feet (120 m) away. In all of the experiments, the sail failed to reach the 210 °C (410 °F) required to catch fire, and the verdict was again “busted”. The show concluded that a more likely effect of the mirrors would have been blinding, dazzling, or distracting the crew of the ship.
Sounds like he had a Sputnik moment.
My father, an engineer says the following...
Hold your hand out in the Sun, does it burst into flames? NO. Because it really isn’t that intense.
Now soak your hand in 20 cents worth of gasoline and light a spark. That is intensely concentrated energy.
Well, maybe it's a really, really low-orbit, geosynchronous satellite.
Hmmm ... excellent point.
Yup....all good points. A couple times I was going to cook something in my solar oven. It was cloudy. Fail. :)
Like anything, there are advantages and disadvantages.
That’s just silly. An Article could never be posted on the internet if it were fake.
only 20 cents and a match, forget thousands of mirrors and the time necessary to attach them to a salvage satellite dish. Your dad has broken this down to the real bottom line.
Too bad your dad isn’t in charge of the economy of California. I’m betting he would have that problem solved in a jiffy. Then on to the world.
With that said, it seems to me that instead of denigrating the lad because HE didn't actually invent what he built, or because he may not fully understand exactly how/why it works, adults (even, or better yet especially the 'physics geniuses' and 'history professors' among us) would want to provide some positive feedback regarding his efforts.
Who knows, such a reaction might encourage him to engage in more serious study of the subject matter so that he can learn for himself why 5,800 small mirrors, even when focused at a single point, do not equal "5,000+ suns" (assuming he actually SAID that, and that he was not simply misquoted by the press).
At any rate, even the most cynical among us should be able to agree that a young man who spends his free time working on "death rays" and other science-related projects in his back yard shed, is most likely NOT going to be out spray painting graffiti on buildings or loitering on street corners listening to 'hip-hop' music with his trousers pulled down around his knees while he waits for his next 'public assistance' check to arrive.
He BUILT a composite parabolic mirror.
He didn’t “invent” anything.
calling Bart Fargo:
Mike and the bots covered this one.
Or DoD Research Contractor :-)
LOL You betcha.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.