A little over 2200 years ago, the Roman navy attacked the Greek port city of Syracuse. Accor to some ancient historians, the Greeks defend themselves with an ingenious weapon called a “burning mirror”. A polished copper surface curd to focus the Sun’s rays onto Roman ships, causing them to catch fire. However, we have several reasons to suspect that the story of the burning mirror is just a myth and the Greeks of Syracuse never rally built such a device.
First, the ancient Greeks were not technologically advanced enough to make such a device. A mirror that would focus sunlight with sufficient intensity to set ships on fire would have to be several meters wide. Moreover, the mirror would have to have a very precise parabolic curvature (a curvature derived from a geometric shape known as the parabola). The technology for manufacturing a large sheet of copper with such specifications did not exist in the ancient world.
Second, the burning mirror would have taken a long time to set the ships on fire. In an experiment conducted to determine whether a burning mirror was feasible, a device concentrating the Sun’s rays on a wooden object 30 meters away took ten minutes to set the object on fire; and during that time, the object had to be unmoving. It is unlikely that Roman ships stayed perfectly still for that much time. Such a weapon would therefore have been very impractical and ineffective.
Third a burning mirror does not seem like an improvement on a weapon that the Greeks already had: flaming arrow. Shooting at an enemy’s ships with flaming arrows was a common way of setting the ships on fire. The burning mirror and flaming arrows would have been effective at about the same distance. So the Greeks had no reason to build a weapon like a burning mirror.
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?
Many people nowadays spend too much money on their pets (dogs, cats, or other animals), although there are better uses for this money.
Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.