Science: Solar Engine

Coincident with his 47th birthday last week, Professor Robert Hutchings Goddard, Clark University rocket inventor (TIME, July 29), disclosed his invention of a sun engine. His laboratory model consists of a parabolic mirror one foot in diameter, which focuses sunlight upon a hollow glass sphere five-eighths of an inch in diameter. The sphere contains water and finely divided carbon. The focused light passes through the clear water without heating it. But when the light strikes the opaque carbon, the carbon heats almost instantly and in turn heats the water, which turns to steam....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!