So once again, you caught your little psychopath burning ants in the driveway with a magnifying glass. Why not redirect that toxic toddler energy, and have them magnify the sun's rays to burn sugar instead? It turns out you can actually use this method to make your own candy. And wouldn't you rather send Billy to the dentist than a psychologist?
Inventive product designer Taku Omura was hired to "create content that will liven up" the website of the World Solar Challenge, a solar car competition sponsored by Bridgestone a couple years ago. Given carte blanche, Omura began playing around with a magnifying glass and the sun, and remembered burning paper (not ants) as a child.
"As a result of wondering if this intense energy could be diverted to something else, [I thought] could sugar be melted into a free-form candy?" The answer was yes:
"The sugar melts and the fragrant caramel scent drifts!" Omura writes. "The video is time-lapse, so it is actually slower."
Here's what he was able to create, using patience and a steady hand:
To protect his eyes, he had to rig up some DIY protection (two pairs of sunglasses, zip-tied together, from the Japanese version of the Dollar Store). "I don't know if it's good for your eyes," he admits, "so please do so at your own risk." He suggests welding goggles, minimum shade #8, would probably be better.
As for the sugar type, Omura says to go with "sugar cane raw sugar." He found that plain white sugar reflects the beam and doesn't melt, and brown sugar seems to let light pass through it and doesn't melt either.
Oh, and he did manage to somehow tie his project back to solar-powered cars: