This Teen Has Built An Archimedes’ “Death Ray” To See If It Can Set Boats On Fire

Archimedes, the ancient Greek polymath, is renowned for his contributions to mathematics and engineering, including the famed Archimedes Principle. Among his creations, the ‘Archimedes Death Ray’ remains shrouded in mystery and debate among historians. However, a 13-year-old Canadian, Brenden Sener, embarked on a scientific journey to investigate the plausibility of this legendary invention through a meticulous experiment.

The ‘Archimedes Death Ray’ legend narrates an ingenious system of mirrors purportedly used by Archimedes during the Siege of Syracuse to set Roman ships ablaze. Despite lacking historical evidence, this concept intrigued Brenden Sener, prompting him to conduct a science fair project to test its feasibility.

Sener’s experiment unfolded indoors under controlled conditions, utilizing various equipment, including concave mirrors, a heating lamp, and an infrared thermometer. The setup aimed to concentrate sunlight onto a marked target area, simulating the mythical ‘death ray effect.’

Sener observed a notable increase in the target area’s temperature by systematically adding concave mirrors and varying the light source. This phenomenon demonstrated the potential of concave mirrors to focus and intensify light, akin to the purported function of Archimedes’ invention.

The results of Sener’s experiment revealed that the concentration of light through concave mirrors significantly elevated the target temperature, affirming the plausibility of Archimedes’ concept. However, Sener acknowledged limitations such as the dependence on clear weather conditions for optimal performance.

In his research paper, Sener concluded that the principles underlying the ‘Archimedes Death Ray’ are feasible, validating his initial hypotheses regarding concave mirrors’ reflective and concentrating properties. Despite its potential, he noted practical constraints, emphasizing the need for suitable environmental conditions for effective operation.

Through Brenden Sener’s innovative experiment, the enigmatic tale of Archimedes’ ‘Death Ray’ found resonance in modern scientific inquiry, shedding light on the intersection of historical legend and empirical investigation in understanding ancient inventions.

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