Marc “Zeke” Kossover is a science teacher in California. As such, he’s always looking for real-world demonstrations of science principles, and he’s pretty clever.
Let’s say you you were into making solar ovens. Let’s say that you decided a few years ago to make the best solar oven ever. Further, let’s stipulate that you saw a nearly meter-diameter Direct TV antenna on the side of the road. An idea happened. You rushed to the local plastics store and bought highly reflective Mylar and glued it to the antenna.
Your solar oven was pretty amazing. While the hot spot wasn’t super small, it was hot. Really hot. It can pasteurize a liter of water in 15 minutes.
The principle is called solar convergence. The problem is that a device like this will continue working even when you are not demonstrating the scientific principle. Kossover found that out when he took his homemade parabolic mirror to work and then forgot and left it in his car. In July. In California. You can read the story and see more pictures of the damage at The Blog of Phyz. -via Metafilter