Lighting the 2022 Olympic Torch

On October 18th, 2021 the Olympic Torch was lit in Greece.  It was lit without the help of a flame or a match.  It was lit by concentrating the rays of our Sun.

From Olympia, runners traditionally carry the flame to the site of the next Olympics.  This year it has been carried to Beijing.


How is she doing that?

Describe what you see in the photo above or the animation below.

Our animation is a simplified demonstration of the reflections from a parabolic mirror.

Let your students study the sunlight reflections and hypothesize why the focus of the mirror gets hot enough to light the torch.

This activity might be used for students who are not yet ready for the study of parabolas or extend this lesson and model to the study of parabolas and the parabola's focus.


CCSS: 4.G.1, 4.G.3, 7.G.2

For members we have an editable Word docx and solutions.

lighting-torch2021.docx    lighting-torch2021-solution.pdf


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