Watch Focused Sunlight Melt Through Steel And Rock
Since solar energy has never quite caught on in a widespread way, we sometimes forget just how much energy old mama Sol is cranking out up there above our heads. One of the easiest ways to be reminded is to forget to wear sunscreen. A few hours chilling in the sun and we wind up blistered and pining for aloe vera. But that’s just a small demonstration. What if I were to tell you that the same amount of sunlight that could give you and a couple of buddies a nasty burn could, if focused, melt through steel?
That video is a clip from the BBC show Bang Goes the Theory, which explores scientific principles and even lays out home experiments the viewers can do. This one is not a do-it-yourself kind of thing, however. The clip above was filmed at France’s Solar Furnace Research Facility, and shows just how powerful two square meters of sunlight can be if reflected to an incredibly small focal point. During the clip we see it combust wood instantaneously, melt and liquefy a steel bolt, and even cause solid rock to smoke and smolder. In fact, the scientist running the demonstration says that the point can get up to 3,500 degrees Celsius, and that there is no known substance on the Earth that can withstand exposure to it.
It’s a dramatic demonstration of a principle familiar to many a young hooligan who fried ants using a magnifying glass. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to be more careful about my sunscreen in the future…
Story via It’s Okay to Be Smart