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on Aug 10, 2015

Modern scientists have not been able to reproduce the ignition claimed for Archimedes device, but it would certainly I suspect have dazzled or blinded the subjects on the receiving end. Perhaps an appropriate technology starting point as if the current technology crop operates around 1um, and has not been shifted to + ~1.6um, that is precisely what it will do, effortlessly, and almost certainly off reflected or scattered components. In which case, we have not come all that far at all.

on Aug 10, 2015

@ Bobhope1, scientists who have recreated the device may have applied the wrong approach. As I recall, they tried to set the hull ablaze, whereas they should have set the sails ablaze, then focus on the crew.
A side note, since copper was probably used, wouldn't it reflect light closer to the IR spectrum? Possibly being closer to monochromatic like laser.

on Aug 10, 2015

Given that most warships of the time were galleys, and since common combat practice was to lower the sails and take down the masts (to keep them from coming down on the crew during ramming) there probably wouldn't have been any sails up to set on fire.

on Aug 10, 2015

Copper reflects pretty well over quite a spectral range - certainly NIR to TIR at least, and obviously some visible components as well. So not monochromatic by any means.

on Aug 10, 2015

Bill, can you confirm that charged particle beams are even further from reality than real, weaponized lasers?

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