Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Brilliant white light!
  (+10, -1)(+10, -1)
(+10, -1)
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Inspired by [evilpenguin521]'s good idea for a Gas powered flashlight.

Well, I happen to have a 1,000,000 candle-power flashlight. Describing it to people, it sounds a lot neater than it actually is, as the flashlight made me realize how dim one candle alone is (and the thing is quite bulky).

The wiki states "Magnesium, when it burns in air, produces a brilliant white light. This was used in the early days of photography when magnesium powder was used as a source of illumination (flash powder)."

Brilliant white light huh? Sounds like it would make for a good flashlight to me. So here's my not-so-complicated yet admittedly impractical proposal: there would be a burner on the rear of the Maglight powered by those small propane canisters available at many convenience stores (believe it or not) and certainly a lot of hardware stores. The canister would be mounted on a removable bracket on the rear of the light, making for easy canister removal and replacement. In an also-removable canister mounted above the light, there is magnesium powder with a valve to let it slowly leak into the burner. Now on the front of this large device is the same type of glass found in fireplace doors, since magnesium burns pretty hot. Above the front of the light, there would be a very small closable exhaust port for the gases to escape. On the bottom would be a very, very small fire extinguisher that could be triggered in an emergency to instantly put out the flame and magnisum. At the top would be a handle connected to the Maglight from each side. Now the trick to all of this is that it would be layered. First layer is the metal layer with the frame that would hold the burner in and such. The next layer is a layer of thin insulation (thinsulation?). After that is a water cooling jacket, and then finally the outer panels. The layers are to a.) prevent burner heat from escaping and making the system less efficient and b.) prevent this thing from burning the hell out of its user's hands (or other body parts).

Might this thing be heavy? Depends. Make it out of titanium with carbon fiber canisters and it would sure be light, just expenisive. But hey, I already said it wasn't practical. This is the halfbakery anyways.

[Edit]: magnesium wire would be a lot better than powder.

acurafan07, Jul 16 2007

Inspiring Idea Gas_20Powered_20Flashlight
Good idea [evilpengiun]. [acurafan07, Jul 16 2007]

About Magnesium http://en.wikipedia...ement_and_compounds
Via the wiki. [acurafan07, Jul 16 2007]

Carbon Rod Arc Light http://www.geocitie...99/searchlight3.htm
For [evilpenguin521] [Klaatu, Jul 17 2007]

Mag fire starter http://www.uscav.co...um%20fire%20starter
Just scratch and spark over and over really fast [elhigh, Jul 17 2007]

Pencil Light http://www.metacafe...encil_into_a_light/
[bigsleep] Ain't lyin' [Klaatu, Jul 21 2007]

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       Impractical? Check.   

       Expensive? Check.   

       Overly complex? Check.   

       Probably illegal? Check.   

       Within the laws of Physics? Check.   

       Outside the bounds of sanity? Check?   

       Croissant? Check!
Galbinus_Caeli, Jul 16 2007

       Neat link. "This was used in the early days of photography when magnesium powder was used as a source of illumination (flash powder)." But that doesn't really look like powder in there...   

       And thanks for the bun, [Galbinus_Caeli].
acurafan07, Jul 16 2007

       Wasn't this used in spotlights? The spotlights mounted in theaters, the big follow spots that were articulated. I remember people talking about "dropping rods" into old spotlights. I'm not certain what the material was.... but it arc'ed and produced a s-load of light. The arc-ing material was expeded after use and had to be changed, hence, "dropping rods"   

       Does anyone know what I am talking about?   

       And a c o m p e t e l y unbias [+] Your idea is completely unpractical and reducusly complex. Good work sir, Id like to 'see' it happen.....   

       =edit= thank you [Klaatu] Thats has to be it.   

       look at the link to know what im talking about
evilpenguin, Jul 17 2007

       You wouldn't actually need a burner, you can strike magnesium on steel to make sparks, so I'm sure you could have a battery (or even clockwork) powered rough disk producing high friction and making magnesium dust.   

       Knight to King 4, check   

       Excuse me waiter, check
marklar, Jul 17 2007



elhigh, Jul 17 2007

       The rods that were "dropped" were carbon rods, essentially graphite coated with a thin layer of copper. A high voltage arc was sustained between two rods that were very slowly driven together as they were consumed by the arc. Rods maybe a foot long could last several hours.   

       This was essentially a primitive version of HID <High Intensity Discharge> lighting that is the high-tech of lighting applications at present.   

       Nowadays a process called Arc Gouging uses very similar carbon rods for removal of metal, similar to oxy-accetylene cutting.   

       As to the idea, I think you'd have great difficulty metering the magnesium powder - may I suggest a magnesium wire, slowly reeled into the combustion chamber instead?
Custardguts, Jul 17 2007

       //may I suggest a magnesium wire, slowly reeled into the combustion chamber instead// = That's what I assumed the idea would be. [acurafan]'s invented something much more expensive.   

wagster, Jul 17 2007

       2B or not 2B, that is the question. Whether 'tis nobler in mind to whack together a mini arc-lamp with jumper cables or suffer the outrageous magnesium flames of [acurafan]'s flashlight...
wagster, Jul 18 2007

       [bigsleep] That's good to know, I'll remember that next time I'm locked in a warehouse with my team of crack commandos.
marklar, Jul 18 2007

       I know some here have suggested coils... Well I thought about that, but another disadvantage of my not-so-interesting 1,000,000 candle power flashlight is that it burns out incredibly quickly (think of 1,000,000 candles burnt nearly down to the holder). With the small burner, you can use it in emergencies or other situations when you really don't want to find out that the battery has died, or that the flashlight will burn out (no pun intended) in very little time.   

       [Custardguts], the magnesium wire sounds a lot better. I would have updated sooner but this is my first time on the 'bakery in a few days.
acurafan07, Jul 20 2007

       I somewhat doubted [bigsleep] and his pencil light, but it seems you can get 20 minutes of light from an ordinary pencil <link>.
Klaatu, Jul 21 2007


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