Building a Bonafide Solar Death Ray Sounds Too Easy
Eric Jacqmain is one smart cookie. Borrowing from the same principles of Archimedes' mythological death ray, the Indiana teenager used an ordinary fiberglass satellite dish and about 5,800 3/8" mirror tiles to create a solar weapon with the intensity of 5000x normal daylight. The powerful weapon can "melt steel, vaporize aluminum, boil concrete, turn dirt into lava, and obliterate any organic material in an instant."
And all it took was 5,800 tiny mirrors and a generic dish! ( -Okay, plus the proper alignment with the sun, and... some real engineering smarts... Maybe it's not quite as easy as it sounds.) Eric says, "I drilled a small hole in the dish and glued a piece of PVC pipe on the back. Light shines through the hole and hits the translucent plastic on the end of the pipe. All I had to do was aim the dish once and mark the spot. As long as the target doesn't conduct heat away too fast it will melt or vaporize just about anything eventually. I have vaporized carbon, which occurs above 6,500 Fahrenheit."
Sadly the death ray came to its end when it caught fire in the storage shed, most likely started by the death ray itself.
Regardless. Go Eric. We salute you. That's some DIY project.