Recreating an Ancient Death RayBreaking News
The program intrigued David Wallace, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. When he presented the death ray as an offbeat project for his class in product development, he said, "only a small number thought it was technically possible."
On Oct. 4 on the roof of M.I.T.’s West Garage, the class set up 127 cheap one-squarefoot mirrors 100 feet from a wooden mockup of the side of a ship. Clouds dogged the experiment, but with just 10 minutes of clear sky, the "ship" burst into flames. "Flash ignition!"
Peter Rees, the executive producer of the TV program, applauded the work. "Here at 'MythBusters' we are always happy to be involved in any kind of quasi historical/scientific debate," he wrote in an e-mail message, "especially if we prompted it."
Like Dr. Wallace, he said that the M.I.T. experiment did not prove that Archimedes actually created a death ray, or that it would have worked on actual ships in real-world conditions.
comments powered by Disqus
- New Yorker profiles activist who's drawing attention to lynchings
- Wisconsin GOP senator wants to replace history professors with Ken Burns videos
- UT removes Confederate inscription that it previously said would stay
- The man behind the Smithsonian’s new African-American history museum
- Greece vows pressure on Germany to get WWII reparations
- Some Ohio University professors ditch the textbooks, and the prices
- Renowned Israeli Holocaust Historian: ‘If I Were a British Jew, I’d Be Worried’
- Heather Ann Thompson pries loose the long-kept secrets of Attica in her new book
- Lonnie Bunch remembers his first day on the job as director of the new black history museum
- Speaker Ryan loves pseudo-historian David Barton