Kevin Moore and Grant Reynolds of the Science Channel made a crazy solar death ray in their very own garage. Its main component is a Fresnel lens, which focuses light into a beam that can melt aluminum, meaning it reaches temperatures in excess of 660°C (1,220°F). Simply put, the duo were inspired to harness light to burn metal after thinking about children using small magnifying glasses to melt plastic toys. So, they built a basic frame from wood and positioned the lens – which can capture a greater degree of light thanks to its ridged surface – to focus the sun’s ray to a small point. Continue reading for the video and more information.
“Their aim was to create a ray of light that is 850°C (1,500°F). Moore and Reynolds noted the beam was ‘insanely hot’ by accidentally burning themselves. They then managed to liquefy a pile of zinc disks, meaning that the beam was hotter than 450°C (842°F). Next, they placed an aluminum packet of popcorn beneath the lens. The beam quickly burned a hole though the packaging to reveal the popcorn inside, which began to pop,” reports The Daily Mail.