The Light Sharpener

Intro Build Foil Mirror Burn Epilogue FAQ
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22

23 FAQ

Challenge Day!

The next set of tests were devised to explore the maximum heat capabilities of the solar dish. We were no longer interested in melting ice cubes or sticks of butter. It was time to use a much higher magnitude of target.

Could the sun destroy a superhero?

The first trial was Spiderman, and just as in Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man #9, the magnified sun threatened to vaporize his costume first, then his body.

His foam rubber body resisted a bit better than his costume. Ugh. Just look at this poor guy.

If he didn't have the super-strength melanin of a spider, he would surely have fifth and sixth-degree burns.


The next challenge for the light sharpener was a jar of M&Ms.

M&Ms of all kinds are covered by an anti-melting guarantee. Plus, these American Independence Day M&Ms were red, white and blue, which provided extra protection against running and fading.

Ok, I didn't really think the M&Ms would make it. They would melt, right? It is like 900 degrees, right? They had to melt!

No. They really didn't melt! We had them up there for several minutes... with very little effect. The candy shell held!

M&Ms are impervious to heat!

I wasn't the only one who wanted to grab a few and see how they tasted, but they were making hot little crackly "we will melt your hand" sounds.

M&Ms... asbestos never tasted so scrumptious!


The next trial for the light sharpener was the aluminum can "hero's engine".

On the first attempt, the sun melted my nylon suspension line in seconds, so I switched to steel wire.

Unfortunately, the steel wire did not allow the can to spin, no matter how much steam shot out of the holes in the side of the can.

It didn't take long for the water to boil away.

When the water was gone, the heat began to melt the can itself. Textbooks show that this happens at around 660 degrees C (1220 degrees Fahrenheit).

The final challenge of the day was Superman.

Jason, who is an eccentric billonaire, brought over a surprise!


It was a #1 Action Comics! Featuring the origin of Superman.

None of us understood why he would destroy something so valuable, so he explained it as he strapped the comic to the metal pole: It seems that by destroying one of the only copies of this book, he would more than double the value of his other #1 Action Comics.

Have you ever heard the cackle of an eccentric billionaire? Oh, it is haunting.

In minutes, this collector's item was reduced to wet ashes, destroyed by the power of our yellow sun.

To be continued.

Intro Build Foil Mirror Burn Epilogue FAQ
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22

23 FAQ

Other incredible stuff  | Home | Contact Rob | Making fire with two sticks | My first solar parabola | Fire with Coke can and toothpaste

September 22, 2007.   Terms and Conditions  Copyright 2007