Magnified Sun Burns

Ready for some fun in the sun? At the right angle, a magnifying glass will concentrate sunshine into a burning hot circle. Thomas Baer, executive director of the Stanford Photonics Research Center, explains how to calculate the solar intensity of that spot by taking some simple measurements. By the way, the magnifying glass fire-starter helps explains why it’s dangerous to stare directly at the sun.

Meet the Producer

About Flora Lichtman

Flora Lichtman was the host of the podcast Every Little Thing. She’s a former Science Friday multimedia producer.