Posts Tagged Solar
This series of videos show just what is possible with intense beams of sunlight. They do not all use sun dishes, but the physics is near identical in form. The inference from these modern solar technologists is that an ancient with a dish could pretty much deliver the same techniques (excepting the computer controls). Materials transforms and cutting are all practical without recourse to anything more exotic than a parabolic concetrator.
How to Build an Ark and Perform the Miracles of the Exodus
Solar sinter project
AMAZING this guy is making glass from sand by pointing a beam at it. He even makes pots with just a guided beam
Big Ass Fresenl lens These guys were just having fun and show how quick a beam will cut thru rocks.
Fresnel melts metals easily
5000 Suns this guy is getting famous for showing the potency of the mosaic method of concentrating sunlight
The guys at Green energy are doing a great job showing a vast array of possibilities. This link shows one, it links to plent yof others at the end. Just point and click.
”Solar Death Ray” more fun with great marketing
2700 degs F
Stirling Engine Solar
Glass cutting with a dish
If you have any links that you think would make good additions to this post please post them at the bottom of the page. If any links have ceased to work please mention it in the same spot.
This page has been compiled to address the Solar Cooking Storage issue with simple, inexpensive and effective methods of heat storage. It is based on some very old methods using stones and large sealed chambers that are outlined in The Ancient Solar Premise
The first method just has a black sheet of metal wrapped tightly around a solid fired house brick; this is aligned with three others and placed in an insulating box. See diagram. The energy throughput can be increased by increasing the number of metal casings and reducing the size of the bricks. This is a slight improvement on just placing black stones in the base of a box cooker.
Storage with High Energy Throughput
The second arrangement increases the throughput of energy, both in and out, by increasing the metal contact area. The same metal sheaf is used as above, but there are pipes welded to the interior. The pipes fit tightly into the holes in hollow fired house bricks. The pipes are cut along one edge to allow for expansion without cracking the bricks.
Both arrays are used in the same way. Prior to cooking the brick arrays are left in the base of the solar cooker. As the sun heats the metal surface, the energy is transferred to the bricks. This allows the bricks to heat up and store the sun’s energy. If the array is exposed to the air, an insulating lid needs to be put on the metal surface when the sun disappears. This is also beneficial within enclosed box style cookers as an extra insulation measure.
Cooking can be carried out in the normal fashion by placing a pot or tray of food onto the surface whilst exposed to the sun. The heat within the stones allows the cooking to continue even if the sun is obscured.
Alternatively, cooking can be carried out purely with the heat stored in the bricks. At sunset, the food is placed in the box cooker and the lid is closed. This allows the food to slow cook with the heat from the bricks.
With this second approach, there is a clear relation between the amount of food that can be cooked and the mass of the bricks. The bricks should weigh more than the food and be heated to as high a temperature as possible. This is achieved with large reflector panels.
In both cases, the speed of cooking is improved because the heat is being directed at the base of the food. Convection currents take it upwards guaranteeing the whole is at temperature. The colors of the foods are also incidental in this approach since it is the stones and the metal conductor that deliver the heat.
Steel sheets were used in tests for the first arrangement and proved good enough conductors. Clearly copper would be a much better conductor of heat though significantly more expensive. Iron may be a good compromise.
Bricks were used in all of the tests. The principle is based on storing the sun’s energy in a variety of dark stones such as granite, basalt and obsidian. A variety of materials can be used in the arrangements. Natural stones are the most durable, store energy very well and do not even require the metal sheaf if they are black. However, because of the expense in some regions, fired house bricks prove a reasonable substitute. They can be used with paints, but the throughput is limited by the contact area. The designs above double or triple the surfaces through which the heat can be transferred.
There are composite bricks designed specifically for storing heat used in electric storage heaters. These may prove the best material for the task.
There are several issues with this style of solar heat storage.
The primary one is that the stones have to be preheated before cooking occurs. This means there are initiation times proportionate to the mass of stone and the temperature required. However, this is also the source of the utility, since the cooking can continue at night or whilst there is no sun. This removes the primary temporal restriction on solar cooking,
The brick heat capacities vary greatly from place to place. This is because of the different clays used and the variety of firing temperatures. This is also true of the natural stones, which form with different compositions and conditions. Each region requires the stones to be tested in practice to realize assured guidelines.
The insulator used in tests was a standard polystyrene icebox with layers of aluminum foil and cardboard protection. This proved an excellent insulator. It retained the heat within the stones overnight. The problem was the degradation of the polystyrene over time because of the heat. This reduces both the storage capacity and the time it can be stored. The exact figures for this area are a constantly moving target.
The Arc Addendum to the Burning Mirror Solution
”The Math Behind Burning Mirrors” contradicts the widely held view that ”circles make poor approximations for parabolas”. For small angles, the geometry of a circle and a parabola converge to within a few parts per thousand. This is a very good approximation for long focal length mirrors. It also shows that the ancients had the facility to make these mirrors with the pendulum and potter’s wheel construction method.
The huge numbers that emerge from the calculations arise because the curves are getting closer to the perfect parabola. The ideal curve has an infinite concentration factor under the approximation used, where the sun is considered a point source. The theoretical numbers are much too high because the sun is not an exact point, but is actually spread over a few degrees of the sky. The sun’s arc parabola calculation brings the concentration factors down to realistic numbers. The formula for the sun image is independent of dish size and simply proportional to the focal length. It relies on the height and distance to the sun combined with the focal length, the longer the f.p. the larger the sun disk image. This approach actually makes the power levels much easier to calculate.
For a perfect parabola with a focal length of 1m, the real sun image will be 9.2mm, regardless of whether the dish is 5cm or 5m wide. A 2m wide dish with a one-meter focal length delivers a concentration factor of approximately 47MegaWatts per square meter, which is considerable. When the focal length is shortened, the intensity increases. For the same dish with a 0.5m focal length the real sun image is about 4mm wide, which produces an intensity of over 200MegaWatts per square meter. Both of these devices are incredibly powerful even when placed alongside the majority of modern lasers. The weakest one is nearly three times more potent than the solar device used in tests to melt stones and vaporize metals.
Mechanical methods can produce these curves because they are relatively deep and do not entail the precision cutting of the shallower curves. Ancient shield making techniques suffice to make the rough shape, followed by a laborious guided grinding and polishing procedure. This manual aspect can be sped up by using a potter’s wheel in a similar fashion to the long focal length devices. Instead of using a moving grinder on a pendulum, a fixed parabolic shaped grinder would be used. These methods are touched on in the Secrets of the Sun Sects. There is not much debate over ancient abilities to make these shapes since they are widely found in the artifacts from shields to bowls.
Archimedes and Syracuse
The persistent problem has always been how the ancients made long focal length mirrors. This is tightly bound to the famous Archimedes story of burning mirrors at Syracuse. The rationale runs that the ancients could not have burned the roman ships because they could not make or did not have parabolic mirrors with long enough focal lengths. Under the arc approximation, it seems that even if they did have near perfect parabolic mirrors with very long focal lengths it would still be very difficult.
Even if the high quality curves of pendulum method are considered perfect, then using the width of the sun means there will be a large disk of light on the target regardless. If the focal length of the dish is 30m the real sun image will be over 27cm across. If the ship is at 50m the sun disk image will be over 46cm wide. These are huge circles of light and would require similarly huge reflectors to provide enough energy to start a fire.
In ”Secrets of the Sun Sects”, the account of Archimedes Burning Mirrors is concluded with this paragraph.
”This short account neatly summarizes the use of burning mirrors as exceptional weaponry of ancient Greece. It also details the usual counter arguments that make it all seem a ‘bit far-fetched’. The ancient method of manufacture makes not only small short-range mirrors possible, but the technique is scalable for larger, longer focal length reflectors exactly as described. In fact, it appears that the longer range mirrors are easier to produce. A two-meter mirror with a sharp hundred-meter focal point is easier to construct than a fifty-centimeter device with a two-meter focal length. As shown, the power also increases radically as the focal point gets longer, which is counter to many modern methods of build. Whilst this possibility does arise, it is probably a red herring in the search for burning mirrors, misdirection is a useful tool for the concealing historian. The commonly held alternative views are more than likely correct. The Carthagians did have catapults and pitch, which is a much easier combination to fire the approaching boats.”
Under the Fusniak approximation, the statements remain true with the exception of the power increasing as the focal length increases, this only holds true under the point of light approximation. There is however, a small window in which the account could have some validity even under this more accurate calculation. It is linked to the limits of the size and types of devices found in the archaeological record and references to problems the Greeks had extending the range of the burning mirrors.
There is a recently discovered manuscript, which appears to be an Arabic translation of a supposedly lost Greek tract on the theory of conic sections. This is thought to have been written by Archimedes during the 2nd century BCE. This provides some interesting clues.
”The manuscript, written around CE 902, is a translation of a Greek manuscript on the code of research of burning mirrors. It outlined an important application of geometry that developed into new concepts on optics by the 10th century. This is probably the oldest copy of the optics manuscript known, though an identical copy made during the 14th Century exists in India. The manuscript references the burning mirrors of the Greeks, who are said to have discovered how to set light to objects thirty cubits away. They wanted to extend this achievement and meet a challenge to set light to objects at a distance of one hundred cubits. In Alexandria, during the 3rd and 2nd centuries BCE, burning mirrors were an important subject of research. Conon of Alexandria, Archimedes, Dosithcus, and Apollonitis are all described as dabbling in the area.”
If one follows the dimensions mentioned in this paper, a few conclusions can be made with the physics. The ”30 cubits” is about 14m, a range that would probably have put Archimedes life in jeopardy as the Romans arrived. However, this would indicate that the sun image would be about 13cm across. In order for a dish to produce fire with that image, it would need over 120 times the area. This results in a very flat dish with a diameter of 150cm, which is just about in line with the shield sizes of the time.
If the mirror range was the slightly safer distance of 30m the dish would need to be about 3m wide. The ”100 cubit” (45m) goal mentioned would require a dish of over 4.5m, which is probably why it remained just an objective. Whilst sun dishes ”twice the height of a man” have been noted in South America, I am not aware of any that large in ancient Greece. These factors leave the solution to the Burning Mirror problem in tact and the Syracuse story a ‘red herring’ in the search for uses of sun dishes in antiquity. The mirrors can retain their Trojan combat use as blinding devices, but are far less likely to be used as solar cannons for Archimedes.
Implications for the Solar Devices
It is worth summarizing the effects the arc approximation has on the extensive range of devices that are described in Secrets of the Sun Sects. The vast majority of the tools have been tested at least on a scale that is practical. There are a few applications that require adjustment for scaling or mechanical reasons.
SOLAR CHAMBERS: About half of the ancient devices are based on the simple premise that dark stones warm up when exposed to sunlight. The ancient solar chambers that utilize this property only require flat reflectors to work and are completely unaffected by the parabolic amendment. This means the simple and inexpensive domestic and industrial cookers remain perfectly viable. Likewise, the water heating, distillation, sterilizing and pumping equipment is still feasible in the ancient world. There is little doubt given all the evidence that the crop drying techniques were applied on a grand scale. All of these items still perform beautifully at both the small and large scale.
PARABOLIC DEVICES: For the parabolic dish devices, the changes only occur on the implementation side, the abilities remain the same. The power is still there at the heart of the burning mirrors, the intense beam is still the most potent entity in antiquity. The relatively shorter focal lengths mean that the use becomes slightly more restricted. In one or two cases, this means the devices have to employ a secondary reflector, which complicates matters slightly. Whilst these improvements have been added to the modern examples in The Sun Devices, when ancient uses were considered simpler was always chosen over complexity. This was primarily because the tool artifacts found are incomplete so less parts, means more likely.
COOKING: The parabolic cooking methods still hold in their entirety, the potency of the devices at this range remain unchanged, fried foods, solar grilled and even boiled remain unchanged. The ancient soldier could still cook his meal with the upturned shield. Any real volume cooking remains within the domain of the solar chambers mentioned above.
OPTICAL: The optical devices are unchanged by the arc addendum, these mirrors will still make excellent components in any reflector telescope ancient or modern. The implications remain that the ancients were scanning the skies with instruments rather than just the naked eye.
METALWORK: On the materials side, most metals could all still be melted, vaporized or worked whilst hot. The smith still had a solar forge in which he could liquefy metals then cast objects along with the ability to bend and fuse others with the intense heat of the beam. He could fuse some metals with a small dish, but not all. There remains the marginally more complicated method, which involves using an iron heated in the larger dish to carry out the same task. Cutting with light is no longer an option without a secondary dish concentrating the first image.
RECYCLING: Recycling methods remain unchanged, though it would not be possible to wander around a dump vaporizing rubbish with ease. This application was aimed primarily at the modern user, but clearly, in the ancient world metal objects would be recycled when damaged.
REFINING: It is noted that the smith and the ancient alchemist were probably the same person in deep antiquity. He still had the power and ability to readily experiment with refining techniques. He was more restricted in where he could practice this art unless furnished with a large flat dish to wander around. Instead of just pointing the dish at a variety of stones, each would have to be placed within the deep dish to find out if there were any useful effects or products to be had. This new material synthesis concept holds for ancient as well as modern. The largest problem here is that the limits on volumes are more restricted since fresnel arrangements of mirrors cannot be used easily.
STONEWORK: The closely linked areas of stone working and ceramics are the most affected techniques. All of the methods tested still work in exactly the same way provided the object is small. Ceramic pots or stones can have a glaze applied quickly and neatly within the confines of the dish. It is only the larger objects that become more awkward to work. Huge rocks can still be shattered by heat, simply by pointing the beam from a shield-sized dish toward the desired fracture point and pouring water on afterward.
When a huge object is to be glazed where it is standing, there are issues with respect to the dimensions of the dish relative to the focal length. These can be overcome in two ways. The first involves using a larger dish than originally envisioned. The second involves the primitive or double dish Cassegrain set ups described. The advantage of this more complicated arrangement is that it can do the fine work at high powers and apply the finishes at slightly lower power without restrictions. The primitive version involves using a flat panel on the object to reflect light onto a short f.p. dish. The result is an off center beam with lower power but flexibility in use. This is the same method as Lindroth proved with a small 30cm dish and a 2mm beam. It cuts via vaporization. Back from its maximum power, it can also glaze stones with ceramic paints or the natural mica within the stone.
The last is a true Cassegrain device akin to the designs of the modern patented solar cutters/polishers. The first dish points directly at the sun and directs the light to an inline dish. This second mirror reflects the beam back down through a hole in the center of the first. Both dishes are effectively concentrating the light to very high powers, which will cut through just about anything. Obviously, the power can be reduced for other tasks by using the device at a short distance from the true f.p. The issue with this device is that whilst it is relatively simple looking, the geometry is not. Dishes have been found with the necessary hole, dimensions and curves though the tripod for the second dish has not. There are some objects from antiquity that could do the task, but it is much preferable to find them all in one piece or at least in the vicinity. This more complicated set up and geometry may help explain why the stone cutting technique was so easily lost.
GEMS: Gem processing remains an easy and lucrative sideline for the solar artisan. The approximation does not alter the speed, ease or new/old techniques in this arena. The natural gems are simply placed in the beam for partial or complete transforms.
Experimental Confirmation and Failings
The details of the calculation have been checked by much better physicists and engineers than myself and none of them spotted the arc amendment. It seems to have been forgotten behind the headline that spherical reflectors actually make excellent long focal length mirrors and the astounding effects produced in test. To be fair, the guys were more intrigued by the effects and the possibilities raised by cheap long focal length mirrors. The tests were carried out with mirrors with focal lengths of a few meters at most. Invariably those built with the ancient method were small with high fp to dish ratios. This was because aim was to test the theory that the angle of pendulum dictates the accuracy of the curve to a parabola. Deep dishes can be made with standard mechanical methods now and in antiquity, there was no need to test these. All results seemed to fall into line with the predictions of the calculation, given the quality of the devices.
The test for the burning mirrors of Syracuse simply followed on from making small mirrors that could start fires easily. Under the point of light approximation, there was no reason to think that at greater distances the beam would be less intense. Under the arc approximation, the dish has to increase in a proportion equal to the increase in size of the focal point to maintain the potency. As the calculations above show, this does still permit a mirror just at the limit of the technology to burn a ship, but it was right at the limit of ancient mirror construction techniques as well.
The results were materially quite amazing, vaporized rather than melted metals, glass rather than fractured stones, all aspects at achieved at very high temperatures. The problem in experiment seemed to be keeping the power down rather than not enough. The prospect of even higher powers at lower angles seemed to be confirmed by scaled down versions. What we were in fact doing was wandering between the improvements in power caused by more accurate parabola construction and extremely high energy inputs from the larger cruder devices.
The sun’s arc approximation adds limits to the upper power of these devices; it does not change what has been done or what is possible. The ancient method of constructing relatively flat curves still allows for a greater degree of flexibility. The accuracy of the curves to the ideal parabola is still more than adequate for the purposes of burning mirrors. The wide range of applications was still available to the ancient artisans and scientists. The devices are still incredibly useful today.
The new calculation method removes the tendency of the point source calculation to increase to infinity in a neat and elegant way. It puts more realistic power figures on the devices that can be confirmed across all sizes and focal lengths. There is still a matrix of mirror sizes and focal length that need constructing and testing, hopefully, some will try. The new approximation suggested has greatly simplified the method of calculating the potency of these devices, for which the author is grateful.
The Ancient Solar Premise (ASP) explains the simple principle under which all of the solar buildings of antiquity have been reviewed. The stone circles of Europe form a part of the Grand Ancient Solar Premise (GASP). They provide the temporal depth and geographic spread away from the more recent examples of the tropics. This page is simply an outline of the evidence and principles explored in detail within the Secrets of the Sun Sects. It transpires that the ancient Britons amongst others were early proponents of solar technology.
Stone Circle Buildings
There are some controversial elements to the application of the ancient solar premise to stone circles. The most controversial seems to be that Stonehenge had a roof. This is bizarre. What is the difference between a roundhouse, a Woodhenge and Stonehenge? Just bigger and better buildings as far as I can tell. Clearly Stonehenge is the remaining foundations of an incredibly ancient circular palace or fort. It still served this purpose at the time of the roman invasion.
The Solar Function
At the center of the solar stone circle, there was a large dark obelisk that supported the roof. This also absorbed and stored the sunlight. Who is going to say dark stones do not get hot in the sun? The simplest stone circles (roundhouses, woodcircles, yurts) can work like south facing bay windows, allowing light in and absorbing it in the stone, floor and walls. This confers on the builder a domestic warming factor that is still useful in reducing fuel bills by 40% today. In ancient times this could be the difference between traveling miles to a wood and meeting enemies or animals along the way.
Whilst this is useful, it is the most controversial aspect of the ASP as it applies to stone circles that shows truly sophisticated use of sunlight. According to some ancient writers, there were circular stone palaces that were covered in reflective metals and allowed the monarch ”to sit in the central chamber warmed without fire, whilst snow lay on the ground”. If Levy’s accounts are to be believed, there were still wooden doors/barricades on the outside of Stonehenge, thousands of years after it’s original function had been displaced. These doors were similar in form and function to the brass/gold/silver covered doors that graced the sanctuaries of Asia. Each slit between the outer circle standing stones had a pair of large reflective doors that directed sunlight into the great chamber.
The Divine Dance of the Sun
To use a stone circle the doors had to be attended and opened when the sun was in front of them. The single stone pillar versions could only use three or five doors at the same time, for geometric reasons. The most exquisite forms like Stonehenge could utilize seven pairs. When seven pairs of doors were opened at the same time a dark stone from the inner circle warmed. As the sun moved around the most easterly door pair were closed and the next westerly pair were opened, this started to warm the next pillar in the inner ring. Any light that missed the inner ring of pillars would strike the central pillar and the whole palace warmed in the cold of winter. In summer, there were crops dried, meats cooked and waters boiled like the Asiatic devices.
There are further elements to the neolithic exposition of the solar concept including double stone absorbers, oval structures, amazing metal floors, natural night lighting, water collection, secondary circle absorbers etc. Each really deserves an article in its own right, particularly the source materials and comparisons. The complete model makes the constructors of the stone circles much more than stone lugging, sun worshiping fools the Roman historians would have us believe. There is a fundamental role in the inception of the great cultures of near antiquity to consider, but that is a long story.
This is a poor summary of the stone circles as described in the The Ancient Solar Premise and it will not sit well with those interested in the ceremonial/ethereal functions that followed. However for those who wish to build working versions of the structures, it should be enough. It is guaranteed that if models are built according to this scheme or the detailed plans in the book, there will be no doubt. A few people have questioned the premise, one Swede even had a stone circle in his back garden, not one of them would pick up the center stone of the working scale models.
The Ancient Solar Premise makes the case for the extensive use of solar technology by ancient civilizations. There are two strands of evidence, parabolic solar concentrators and heating large black stones. Through two simple devices, it is shown that the successful societies of antiquity were using the sun to underpin their industry, art and science. The solar relics are surprisingly common and are all tied together with the rediscovery of lost techniques that are proving useful today. The implications are explored in some re-framed histories of the important sun cultures.
The focus of this article is the parabolic solar mirrors that are supposed to have existed in antiquity. The majority of comparable proposals fall down primarily because there is no method to make the elusive devices. For centuries, the prevailing view has been that spherical reflectors make poor parabolas, ”The Math behind Burning Mirrors” refutes this completely. With this change of perspective, Christopher Jordan not only shows how they built and used these tools, but also explains many anomalies from the artifacts. These curved mirrors turn out to be the most powerful devices up until the twentieth century with amazing capabilities.
The problem of how to make powerful solar concentrators has plagued historians and scientists from Archimedes’ time to Newton’s. The reasons for this interest are not abstract, but the practical uses of the ideal curve. A perfect parabola will concentrate sunlight almost infinitely, which can be very useful, alas, perfection is impossible to engineer.
A hemisphere is easy to make, but it is thought that it proves a poor parabola. The paper above shows explicitly that if smaller and smaller sections of a sphere are used, the approximation to a parabola increases exponentially. If a twentieth of a hemispherical surface is used, it is accurate to within one percent. If a hundredth of the surface is used, it is near perfect. Depending on the focal length chosen, these dishes can have incredible concentration ratios of hundreds of thousands. See the math paper for the calculations.
The table above is calculated using the sun as a point source. When the size of the sun is taken into account the intensities range from hundreds of kilowatts to hundreds of megawatts per square meter. The math that underpins the idea is indisputable, but it is the physical proof that persuades most people. There is also the matter of whether the ancients had the technology to build such devices. To address these issues, the mirrors have to be made, tested, found in the archaeological record along with explicit evidence of ancient use.
The construction task becomes much easier when only a small spherical section is required. To make a seven-degree spherical arc requires only a pendulum, grinder and patience. This can be combined with a potter’s wheel to speed up the process and guarantee the surface. No one argues that pendulums and potters wheels were unknown in the old world.
With this set up, ancient craftsmen could make mirrors so powerful they could vaporize virtually anything at their maximum power. Beneath the upper limit, there are points where materials can be melted or just warmed. This is the solution to the ‘Burning Mirror Problem’ associated with Archimedes. These dishes have an intense beam focused at a distance equal to half the length of the pendulum. If the pendulum is 10m and the dish is 2m wide, there will be a point of light with just under 2MW/Sqm intensity created at 5m when the dish is pointed at the sun. This is powerful compared to the majority of these weapons, which were shield sized and designed to blind the enemy on the battlefields.
Weaponry is only a small field, in The Ancient Solar Premise, many of the other uses are demonstrated and then placed in their historical context. Some of the methods have been displaced by better ones, but others lost to time still have utility. The roles played in old stonework, fine art, jewelry, science and chemistry are explored in detail.
It becomes clear that many anomalous artifacts can only be explained by these devices. The most compelling are the huge vitrified stones found across the globe. Some experts deny that the finishes are glazes, primarily because they cannot be applied even today. These finishes cannot be created by any method other than an intense beam of light. This is adequate proof to most that the dishes were used in some cultures.
Alternatively, there are the countless references in texts that mention the devices in use. Prior to the rediscovery of the construction method, sun dish descriptions were considered fanciful exaggerations, now they can be fully appreciated. From the Iliad to the Bible, the Vedas to Conquistador accounts, the Greek and Muslim scientific tracts, each clearly describe mirrors in use. Intriguing references to long-range burning mirrors in Muslim papers, the blazing shields of the Greek wars, Incan sun dish competitions and the intense blinding light of Siva poetically attest to these ”divine” tools in key historical settings. Indeed this anecdotal evidence is the root of the persistent rumors of ancient burning mirrors.
Any remaining doubts as to the existence of sun dishes in the old world can be quelled by a museum trip. There are thousands of these devices on display. After creating and using a sun dish, it is obvious that the curve is almost as imperceptible as a shaving mirror. The once active items are cataloged as less interesting oxidized metal objects such as shields, helmets, trays, gongs and ritual garb. However, once the shallow curves are identified, the utility becomes clear. Dishes from the cultures of the Mediterranean, Egypt, Asia, the Americas and Neoliths are all to be found. Links for Ancient Mirrors
The definitive presence of these devices raises other questions about the development and decline of several disciplines and cultures for that matter. Alchemy and the lead to gold transform has left little doubt that these men had a poor grasp of chemistry and lacked the tools for most of the procedures. The more thoughtful look beyond the gold and recognize the origins of chemistry. With these powerful solar devices on hand, the alchemist had the ability not only to create certain materials, but also to readily experiment with others.
The history of ceramics helps illustrates the point. It is believed that ceramics evolved with the evolution of the wood kiln and complex firing techniques. Most stones when placed in a normal fire will not alter their composition in anyway at all, yet this leap in process was made throughout the ancient world. There is no doubt that kilns were eventually used to produce large quantities of potteries. However, Jordan contends that the first experimental work was carried out with these mirrors.
After some ceramists suggested it was impossible to make ceramics with sunlight, the technique was demonstrated at an International Ceramics conference. Despite the production of glazes in minutes as opposed to hours, the historical concept gained little traction. However, it was shown that it is easy for craftsmen to expose a range of materials to very high heats using parabolic dishes.
Recent mirror research followed a similar path to the speculative alchemist. Metals, rocks, gems, bricks and ceramic paints were just left in the beam for a few minutes to see what happened. The solar device was made and techniques were devised to anneal gems, cut stones, fire pottery, produce ceramics, vaporize, cut and smelt metals in less time than it takes to fire up a wood kiln. Even kids today appear to be treading the same path with homemade reflective dishes. This is not beyond the scope of an ancient craftsman, whose normal methods involved elaborate kilns and would mostly result in failure. The inference is that the development of many fields owes a great deal to the use of this solar technology.
Jordan shows techniques that delight artisans and scientists alike, with a tool that is a little cumbersome, but delivers a very high power to cost ratio. Uniquely historians find the knowledge useful in reframing the past. The lost tract ”On Burning Mirrors” has effectively been reconstructed and shows why ancient scholars obsessed over spherical surfaces. Despite doubts over the most famous Burning Mirror of Archimedes used at Syracuse, it is certain that these tools were utilized in the ancient world. Understanding the operation of sun dishes will surely lead to some famous historical texts being rewritten or at least reinterpreted.
Scientists can use dishes to reduce the costs of high temperature research. The solar concentrators have already been used to make unique new types of crystals for photovoltaic cells. It is expected that similar techniques will be developed for industrial production. Meanwhile artisans can recreate those revered finishes of the past. The sun cultures produced some of the finest stonework, it is only fair that artists trying to mimic it should at least have the same power at their fingertips.
In the present age when we are looking for ways to solve our current energy issues, it seems that the ancients can still teach us a thing or two.
Website: Secrets of the sun Sects Blog
With research by Christopher Jordan
Website: Sothic Press
The Secrets of the Sun Sects covers a large number of areas,
Here is a summary
THE SUN DEVICES OF ANTIQUITY
1. Burning Mirrors – an overview of what parabolic mirrors are able to do
2. Ancient Mirror Math – The simple math & geometric solution to Archimedes burning mirror problem
3. Dish Construction – How to make 10Mw/Sqm solar concentrators in antiquity or a garage
4. A New History of Mirrors – The implications for Greeks, Egyptians, Alchemy, Incans and more.
5. Star Wars – The use of burning mirrors on the ancient battlefields
The Sun Temples
6. The Sun Temples – A description of a solar chamber, energy and usage across the ancient world
7. Temple Mountains – The arrangement of sun chambers on step pyramids builds to ancient solar industries
8. Temple Distribution & Climate – The rationale for the solar chamber variances across the globe
9. Stone Circles – The solar premise applied to neolithic stone circles
10.Conclusion – The ancient world was powered by sunlight
THE SUN DEVICES
11. Solar Tools – A guide to making powerful sun dishes today
12. Food & Water – Using ancient techniques to fry, boil and cook at home or in the factory
13. Climate Control & Power – Using old technology to cool the home and produce power 24/7
14. Materials & Crop Processing – Solar Recycling, refining, materials synthesis & agricultural applications
15. Lost Techniques of the Solar Artist – Stone cutting, finishing, ceramics & gems
16. Miscellaneous Devices – How to make & use powerful Ancient Telescopes
17. Commercial Concerns – Benefits & reservations in the commercial environment
THE SUN SECTS
18. Revising the Past – Adding the Ancient Solar Sects to the record
19. The Inception of Civilization – Did civilization start with a hot black stone or fire?
20. European Sun Sects – The emergence of neolithic solar powered cultures
21. The Egyptian Sun Sects – The utility of sun gods & their temples/tools
22. Egyptian Priestly Orders – The skills hierarchy of the ancient solar orders
23. The Demise of the Sun Cults – The reasons for failure
Modern Solar Sects
24 The Transition Cultures – The switch from solar energy to sun worship
25. Eastern Religions – The Solar Cult legacies of the East
26. Western Religions – The Solar Cult legacies of the West
27. Miracles of Light – Biblical refs to solar devices
28. The Prophecies – 3 Ancient Prophecies reinterpreted
29. A Bright Future – Some very optimistic outlooks
A. Missing Greek Math – Tables of Hipparchus & Archimedes
B. The Power of Spherical Mirrors – The full math proof behind burning mirrors
C. Thermal Properties of the Sites – Detailed energy calculations for sun temples and stones
D. Projects – Completed and ongoing projects, High tech, low tech and historical