Science Experiments

Starting fires with the sun

Sun, 3rd Aug 2008

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What you Need

A lens

A lens or magnifying glass - as big as possible (although it doesn't have to be this big)

Newspapers

Some Newspaper

A tray

A tray that won't burn

What to do

Wait for a sunny day, and pick a spot which isn't very windy.

Pick a sheet of newspaper with as much ink on it as possible.

Scrunch it into a ball with a nice area of black exposed on the outside, and put it in the tray.

Move the lens over the newspaper and move it up and down and twist it until you have the smallest spot possible focused on to a black bit of the newspaper.

Keep the spot focused on the surface of the paper, if a hole starts to form keep the spot inside the hole.

Obviously, this will get very hot so don't touch it, and you are setting fire to something so don't put your fingers near the focus point and don't do it inside!

What may happen

With any luck and a large enough lens you should be able to get it to catch fire.

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