The Mirror Weapon in Archimedes Era

  • A.S. Papadogiannis
  • N.S. Papadogianni
  • A. Carabelas
  • S. Tsitomeneas
  • P. Kyraggelos
  • T.G. Chondros


The historical accounts of Archimedes’ war-faring inventions are vivid and possibly exaggerated. It is claimed that he devised catapult launchers that threw heavy beams and stones at the Roman ships, burning-glasses that reflected the sun’s rays and set ships on fire. It is said that Archimedes prevented one Roman attack on Syracuse by using a large array of mirrors (speculated to have been highly polished shields) to reflect sunlight onto the attacking ships causing them to catch fire. In this paper the parameters of irradiation intensity produced by burning glasses or mirrors are investigated and compared with experimental results from the literature.


Burning glass Mirrors weapons Solar irradiation War machines Experiments 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • A.S. Papadogiannis
    • 1
  • N.S. Papadogianni
  • A. Carabelas
  • S. Tsitomeneas
  • P. Kyraggelos
  • T.G. Chondros
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical Eng. & AeronauticsUniversity of PatrasGreece

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