A 12-year-old boy recreated Archimedes' legendary 2000-year-old "death ray": it worked

By SSPDailyMar 15, 2024 15:33 PMPersonal Development
A 12-year-old boy recreated Archimedes' legendary 2000-year-old "death ray"
A 12-year-old boy recreated Archimedes' legendary 2000-year-old ''death ray''. Source: metro.co.uk

A 12-year-old boy has helped resolve the centuries-old dispute over the "death ray" created by Archimedes in ancient Greece. SSPDaily tells about it.

Archimedes of Syracuse, born in 287 BC, is considered one of the greatest mathematicians of all time. He was not only good at numbers, but also a gifted inventor, engineer, physicist, and astronomer.

And, according to Lucian of the second century AD, Archimedes was also the inventor of the "death ray," which was used to fend off Roman warships during the siege of Syracuse in 213-212 BC.

It is said that Archimedes harnessed the power of sunlight with mirrors, which were then directed at approaching enemy ships and eventually set them on fire.

However, since this all happened so long ago, there is no conclusive evidence that the "death ray" worked. It has been debated for centuries, with some experts insisting that the "death ray" never existed.

However, a Canadian high school student named Brendan Sener has made great progress in the debate by creating his own, mitigated version of the "death ray" using mirrors and table lamps.

His experiment, which used 50-watt LED bulbs, was able to prove that such a "death ray" could potentially work.

Sener found that if he focused the light of his lamps on a piece of map, he could increase the temperature by 2°C for each additional mirror he added, up to a maximum of three mirrors, and adding a fourth mirror resulted in an 8°C increase in temperature.

Similarly, if he used 100-watt bulbs, he saw a 4°C increase in temperature with each additional mirror, up to three mirrors, with the fourth mirror increasing the temperature by 10°C.

Sharing his finding in the Canadian Science Fair Journal, the child wrote: "This series of experiments has shown that the principle behind Archimedes' 'death ray' is certainly possible, and so I accept my initial hypothesis that concave mirrors can be used to reflect and concentrate light emitted from a light source. As the number of reflective mirrors increases, the temperature of the target increases as well."

He added: "However, in order for it to function properly and cause large objects such as wooden ships to flash, it would require a very powerful light source and many large mirrors. Historical descriptions of the use of the 'death ray' in ancient Syracuse are plausible, but no archaeological evidence of Archimedes' 'death ray' has been found, except for what is recorded in the books of ancient philosophers."

As a reminder, a Roman military base has been excavated in the valley of the biblical "battle of the end of the world." The Roman Legion camp served as a permanent military base for Roman soldiers.

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