Brian Lewis: All About Science #08 – Archimedes

Again I don’t have Number 7 so can’t tell you what appears there, but on the basis that Archimedes features again, I’m guessing Archimedes. This episode relates very quickly how his invention (since lost to posterity) of the “huge burning glass” was set againt the Roman fleet. at Syracuse and how Archimedes worked on the mathematical model of PI when he was killed. An interesting article on Wikipedia mentions:

Archimedes may have used mirrors acting collectively as a parabolic reflector to burn ships attacking Syracuse.

A quick search on Google shows many references to “huge burning glass” in history – none connected to this as such, but once again Lewis’s strip has inspired me to look further – surely the purpose of the comic strip in “All about science”.

The panel showing the ships burning is beautifully drawn and the last but one panel of Archimedes shows the shadowy figure of a Roamn soldier about to kill him.

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