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This Glass Doorknob Caused a House Fire

You probably already know that you can start a fire by focusing beams of light -the same way a magnifying glass can be used to burn insects. But it's easy to forget that concept while buying home accents and one home owner found that out the hard way when sunlight hit her glass doorknob just right and caught her house on fire. 

Fortunately, the family was home at the time and was able to put the blaze out quickly and safely. Read more about the incident here.

Via Reddit


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I have a very large painting that I painted and it was in my art studio situated on the second floor of my house. It was hung on a wall above a filing cabinet. On the cabinet was a very big crystal ball. The studio had large windows and a smaller half moon window high up on the wall. I was sitting in my studio working when I smelled smoke. I searched the room and found nothing. My husband was in his office next door and he, too, smelled smoke. We searched the room and found nothing. About 3 weeks later I happened to be looking for something in the cabinet and noticed my painting had a large burn mark in it. Apparently the sun shone through the half moon window and magnified the crystal ball and burnt the painting! I still have the painting with the hole in it.
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I'm guessing you're making a stab at plastic magnifying glasses, as they typically have lower magnification and/or more abberation. But they still work fine at burning things and will start fires. It is a lot easier to get a large Fresnel lens than it used to be.

The problem with magnifying glasses, as in all of them, old or new, small or big, can't ever make a spot hotter than the surface of the Sun using just sunlight.
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Modern magnifying glasses cannot start a fire nor can they burn insects. Who knows why?

Oh, yeah, Plasmagryphen, you get to play also.
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