Teen Creates DIY Death Ray

Eric Jacqmain's version of Archimedes' Death Ray is, based on the video below, a hot item. While obviously overhyped when described as having the power of 5,000 suns, it definitely has enough power to melt or burn everything he tried it on.

Eric Jacqmain, 19, took 5,800 tiny mirrors, put them onto a 5'9” dish at a cost of only about 90 dollars, and proceeded to obliterate anything he put into its focal point (you remember discussions on parabolic reflectors from high school, don't you?).

It is doubtful that it has the power of 5,000 suns (despite the number of mirrors) since that would mean (based on the temperature at the surface of the sun) a temperature of 5,000 x 6,000 °C or 30 million °C.

Jacqmain is making a larger one, one with 32,000 mirrors. The one in the video, ironically, was destroyed in a fire.

Via:  YouTube
Tags:  YouTube, Archimedes
der meister 3 years ago

lol... I like how the first thing i though of was I doubt it is the power of 5000 suns when I first read the headline.

transam02 3 years ago

That is pretty cool.

mentaldisorder 3 years ago

When I first saw this I thought it was insane.  I'm impressed with the strength and the speed that that thing can burn things.  You could take out an ant colony with that thing.

rapid1 3 years ago

Rofl; well besides ant colony destruction I wonder if something like this could be used to enhance solar energy retraction. It would seem if you can increase the output if done with controlled equipment you could magnify the amount of energy you get from a solar energy device. From what it sounds like it would not even be very expensive at least in the panel.

lipe123 3 years ago

Solar power generators already use big elliptical mirrors that focus the sunlight.


Joel H 3 years ago

I can think of all sorts of home improvement projects that might be simplified with a 32,000 mirror reflector. Provided that you could use it effectively anyway. ;)

Resin 3 years ago

Hee Hee - I'm reminded of an article a while back about an elliptical or at least concave hotel building that would burn people across the street once a day, in Las Vegas I think it was.

Pretty cool. Next he better get to work on the freeze ray and the shrink ray.

coolice 3 years ago

I wonder if he actually painstakingly aligned each mirror? or just placed them.

Also, another application that i was reading about this was for cooking. Metal box, put the meat/ food inside, and Voila, you can cook food for no cost (apart from actually building the "death ray")

inspector 3 years ago

HEHE, fast way to cook :D...

Also make a cover for it and maybe the shed would not of burned... :P

Joel H 3 years ago

I'm thinking this is a pretty poor idea for cooking, actually. The entire point of an array like this is to *focus* light. When you cook, generally speaking, you want the energy to diffuse. Accomplishing that isn't half so simple as just counting on a metal box to properly distribute heat evenly to all areas of the cooking surface provided that you target the center. You'd have to be able to align the box perfectly, the box would need to conduct heat well, and you couldn't use a metal that would warp or distort after numerous heating/cooling cycles. There's also the danger of someone touching the box, the fact that anything touching near the box would sear/burn/smolder, and you wouldn't be able to cook when it's raining, cloudy, or 9 AM. ;)

I'm in favor of much simpler, more direct uses. Like, say, setting your neighbor's house on fire. You only need to do it once, so picking a good day isn't half so tough. Sure, constructing a scaffolding rig to live the Heat Ray into the proper position might be a hassle, but the *look* on his face would be worth it.

coolice 3 years ago

Hey Joel.... its quite possible to cook with solar power. I started googling and What do you know.... Its possible.

Google this out: Solar Cookers.... and you'll see how it is possible.

I came across another interesting talk in some forums on indian websites.... using Sunglight to cremate bodies. Since most indians cremate after death vs burial... using sunlight and a metal box is A LOT more effcieient than wood, gasoline or kerosene.

As for someone going and touching the box and stuff..... Someone can touch the Stove when its on..... The stove also goes through cooling and heating cycles.... AS for NOT cooking when its raining and Night.... Your Right! But look at how much energy that CAN be saved if cooking is done During daylight!

Or Heck... Even steam engines...All steam engines need are a heatsource!. if this thing can heat up metal to 100's of degrees (Celsius, i'm canadian) ... it can be used to heat up water.... boil it, steam it, power something, like an actuator, Voila!! for as long as there is sunglight... u can have some sort of electricity/ generator. Think of how much hydro can be saved!

Its like windmills right now.... sure they cant power all of north america Yet.... but it does contribute, if even a little!

SammyHayabuza 3 years ago

Kids these days know too much..what ever happened to baking soda and vinegar?

Resin 3 years ago

I believe the old baking soda and vinegar routine were upstaged by mentos and coke...

slightly different branch of childhood science though.

SammyHayabuza 3 years ago

[quote user="Resin"]

I believe the old baking soda and vinegar routine were upstaged by mentos and coke...

slightly different branch of childhood science though.


LOl, good point.

Your comment reminds me of The Men In Black Movie scene where Will shoots the cardboard girl with quantum physics books.  Technology has advanced so much and it so accessible, that Kids are are paving the way to become successful tech savvy entrepreneurs and engineers at a very early  stage in their life..

coolice 3 years ago

I wouldnt say that yet....

Kids are paving the way to become more successful at a very early age?

No, its just that computers and all these science experiments are the norm now. Since it is cheaper to attain these materials and the knowledge. Its not like one or two kids have access to the knowledge needed to create such a device.

I think its becoming even harder to become an entrepreneur in this day and age. look at is this way.... If i were to ask you what 10 things you can do to change facebook and create something that is different.... it will be very hard to come up with a new concept.

Similarly, if 30 years ago, i asked you to create a volcanic reaction without baking soda and vinegar.... you'd be stumped.

and if 200 years ago i ask try to create a volcanic simulation.... chances are people wouldnt know a combination that could show that.

The concepts of entrepreneurship stay the same, and its always the same level playing field... only the brightest get the credit, and then that becomes the standard, only to be broken again.

For example, i dont want to boast, but i am inspired from this article. I met up with a few engineering friends about my comment earlier about how we can make a steam engine pushing an actuator of some sort from heating up a metal container filled with water.... and this summer, we're going to try to create a motor that runs from an intensified beam of light.... if we can create even the slighest bit of electricity, it can prove that the limits of this are endless. And if what i create becomes the norm (wishful thinking).... then 5 years from now, someone will make it into something even better.

So to some extent i agree with your statement, at the same time i disagree with it. What i'm trying to say is a little hard to explain...

essentially, we evolve, become smarter and that level of knowledge becomes the norm... if i compare myself to a person from the 17th centuary... I'm a damn prodigy haha.

Lichemage 3 years ago

Add a 10X lens to that and watch it burn all the better. If you can get higher mags it will make the beam even more focused and powerful

AKwyn 3 years ago

Cool, but in it's infancy, it's sorta like watching people using a magnifying glass in those cartoons to melt stuff. It's great for a while but gets old. Still I have to give him effort for mounting 5,800 small mirrors onto a dish and making an alignment system so that it can be perfectly in tune with the sun.

Let's hope the 32K mirror version will obliterate anything in it's path.

analogmonster 3 years ago

This is more of a testament to patience and follow-through than it is an innovation. But the similarities between this satellite dish (of 40600 years bad luck if dropped!) and a well funded research facility are what impresses me.



Post a Comment
or Register to comment