Space Heater Now that it is winter, you are getting cold. What will you do? I have the perfect solution for you, a space heater. I know what you are thinking, OK, I have one of those, but how does it heat me so well? It is so hot, why does it not melt itself? And, why is there no heat behind it? Well, the answer can be summed up in one word, parabola. Now you may be thinking, Huh? What is a parabola and how does it direct heat? That is what I will explain. A space heater uses electricity to make heat and a parabolic dish directs that heat. The space heater is not inherently hot; it must make its heat.
But how does it do this? A space heater is plugged into a wall outlet where it is given a source of electricity. Inside the heater, a transformer reduces the voltage to only how much it needs. This is important for the next step. The electricity is passed through metal rods or coils that have a very high resistance. The resistance of the metal makes it heat to a very high temperature.
The heat is then directed by a metal parabolic dish that can withstand these temperatures. If too much electricity is passed through, the rods or coils will melt or the parabolic dish will melt. Of course, your question, What is a parabola? still remains unanswered. A parabola is a type of conic section, a delicious slice of cone. It has a vertex with two curved lines protruding from that vertex.
The two curves are symmetrical to a line through the vertex that passes between them. A parabola is two dimensional, though a typical parabolic dish is many parabolas with the same vertex and line of symmetry. the dish on the heater may have a back that is wider to allow for more heat production. The dish is concave and is behind the coils so the metal reflects the heat in one direction, preventing heat from scattering. The space heater is a machine that produces heat by passing electricity through a series metal of rods or coils with a high resistance. The heat bounces off a metal parabolic dish and into your face.
So now that its winter, what will you do? Thats right. Space heater, and a parabolic dish.