President Obama gives 'Mythbusters' a hot mission
November 23rd, 2010
05:00 PM ET

President Obama gives 'Mythbusters' a hot mission

In the midst of trying to fix the nation's problems, President Barack Obama is attempting to get to the bottom of another matter: the legend of Archimedes' solar ray. That's why he's called in the "Mythbusters" team for a little help.

"I am a big fan of 'Mythbusters,'" Obama tells incredulous co-hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman in a clip of his upcoming episode. "I am and so are the girls. I think we have a big one that hasn't been thoroughly tested: It is Archimedes' solar ray."

According to legend, Greek scientist Archimedes set fire to invading Roman ships using just mirrors and sun rays during the Siege of Syracuse in 214 B.C.

Or did he?

That's the challenge the president issues to the "Mythbusters" team. "Figure this out and report back to me," he commands them.

The episode featuring President Obama airs on the Discovery Channel on December 8.

Filed under: television • Uncategorized

soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. hamburgervschickensandwich

    why not get kids interested in science by showing them real scientists doing real science. not dorks who are not even scientists doing consumer reports type testing. it seems that these days education needs to have entertainment value for it to be deemed worthy.

    December 5, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  2. bowlan

    the show proved a flop,dident work.
    then again nothing obama has dreamed up yet has worked so why should this be any different.

    August 13, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Chris

    after December 8th, a new era of solar super weapons will begin the "Warm" war

    December 8, 2010 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  4. Wormbuster

    Barry Obama showed just how out of touch he really is by "requesting" this mission that has been done before and busted. He truly has no clue how to give us hope and change. The Mythbusters should just focus their beam on Michelle's fat ass and burn off some cellulite.

    December 7, 2010 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Somedays11

    I can (at the least) give the President props for attempting to get kids interested in science so we can attempt to compete with other nations. Glad he cares about education more then the people running the schools (Keep cutting the budgets, underpaying teachers, closing schools, etc).

    December 7, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. kim orr

    doesnt he have anything better to do than star in an episode of this crap?

    December 6, 2010 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  7. Jake

    I learned a long time ago to stay out of politics, you'd have better luck yelling at brick walls. I think of obama as a president, not a bad president not a good president just a president. There all the same, half the people hate him half the people love him.
    Its just a show people, maybe they'll go big budget with it and it will work. Who knows.

    December 5, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  8. SreeRam

    Excited to watch this, hope there could be a breakthrough to start multiple forms of alternative energy….

    December 1, 2010 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
  9. cat

    Okay. I know the Archimedes' solar ray in theory works doing the correct math because its just a over sized parobolic reflector but to find a foci point that far away and the mesurment to be perfict is nearly impossible but could be achieved its simple precalc calculations i am not quite sure why the president would do this because him going on mythbusters is not going to intrest anyone who was before this but if he was intresed in the math he should have done it for himself.. buliding a parobolic refector is fun and easy personaly have done it before.

    November 29, 2010 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
  10. charles

    Actually, I think that Obama might be right... it might not have been tested sufficiently. The Greeks would have used hundreds of mirrors. And I don't think mythbusters tested that volume. Will they do so now?

    November 28, 2010 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Christian

    They have already throughly tested it. The president of the free world can't come up with something they haven't touched?

    November 26, 2010 at 4:11 am | Report abuse |
  12. Randall

    Hopefully Obama will resign on national TV and save the nation!

    November 25, 2010 at 2:21 am | Report abuse |
  13. Massive Marbles

    Mr. President, Why not ask them about the validity of the UFO issue that the government has suppressed?

    November 24, 2010 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  14. Odalice Yolanda Feliz

    he is such a great guy.

    November 24, 2010 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  15. Oakspar77777

    Could his publicity guys not pick a better myth to re-visit? The solar ray has been throughly debunked.

    1) Without a laser-focused beam (which today's military and billions are still struggling to get right), you have to use light compression. That means it has to be focused on a single target spot.

    2) It requires that the spot recieves so much heat that compustion occurs. Moreover, it must to so quickly, as movement ruins the effict. Reflective coloration also increases the time/heat needed.

    3) Scale. The magnifying glass that frys an ant is great – but what is the scale conversion of ant to ship? 10 billion? A lens large enough for that level of heat would be bigger than the city. True, breaking the lens into smaller mirror (which MB did!) does allow you to construct a more manigable large lens – but each smaller lens you break it into looses efficiency (thus requiring even more lenses).

    Now, if you put the entire population of Greece around a bay, with each person holding a mirror the size of a man, on a sunny day, could likely burn the fleet. Of course, they also could have swum out and sunk the ships with their combined weight as well.

    November 24, 2010 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  16. michaelfury

    Why won't Mythbusters debunk this "myth"?

    November 24, 2010 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  17. eladrion

    @klh- Spout your fox news stupidity on fox you twit. This is a human interest story where the president is trying to get kids interested in science. How can you make this into something bad? you dont like the president then say your parroted rhetoric on the politics board and leave the good that hes doing alone.

    November 24, 2010 at 8:02 am | Report abuse |
  18. whatt

    hey tom i wouldnt mind having the military budget cut in half, then packed into little pink boxes and sent off to saturn.

    November 23, 2010 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Tom

    If Obama uses their findings to cut our military's budget I won't be surprised.

    November 23, 2010 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Michael

    For people who think the President has better things to do than be on Mythbusters....He's trying to get kids interested in science. We are a nation in which half our population doesn't care about education. That will be the end of us, if we don't change.

    November 23, 2010 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • kim orr

      yes because that should be his top priority right now. stupid people should stop making babies.

      December 6, 2010 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  21. Clint


    November 23, 2010 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  22. bob guys need to pay more attention. In the full post, he states that it has been tested twice, but it hasn't been tested to his satisfaction. He's the frickin President...he knows it was tested before morons.

    November 23, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  23. JLC

    Yeah, they did this one already.

    November 23, 2010 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  24. What

    Apparently the president isn't too keen on the show, or Archimedes' "solar" ray. If he were he'd have realized that Mythbusters had attempted this before (labeled "busted"), and has been tested numerous times before.

    The end result is this - it is possible to catch ships ablaze using this method, but not entirely feasible considering other short range methods (ie. flaming arrows). It also requires a myriad of conditions to be "just right" in order to work effectively.

    I think it would be hilarious if Mythbusters just sent him a copy of the episode they already did on the subject.

    November 23, 2010 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |

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