Go Back   AnandTech Forums > Hardware and Technology > Highly Technical

Forums
· Hardware and Technology
· CPUs and Overclocking
· Motherboards
· Video Cards and Graphics
· Memory and Storage
· Power Supplies
· Cases & Cooling
· SFF, Notebooks, Pre-Built/Barebones PCs
· Networking
· Peripherals
· General Hardware
· Highly Technical
· Computer Help
· Home Theater PCs
· Consumer Electronics
· Digital and Video Cameras
· Mobile Devices & Gadgets
· Audio/Video & Home Theater
· Software
· Software for Windows
· All Things Apple
· *nix Software
· Operating Systems
· Programming
· PC Gaming
· Console Gaming
· Distributed Computing
· Security
· Social
· Off Topic
· Politics and News
· Discussion Club
· Love and Relationships
· The Garage
· Health and Fitness
· Merchandise and Shopping
· For Sale/Trade
· Hot Deals with Free Stuff/Contests
· Black Friday 2013
· Forum Issues
· Technical Forum Issues
· Personal Forum Issues
· Suggestion Box
· Moderator Resources
· Moderator Discussions
   

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 03-06-2004, 07:49 PM   #1
MournSanity
Diamond Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 3,126
Default Why does a grape in a microwave create plasma?

I'm sure many of you have seen this phenomena. I did it the other day. I took a grape and cut it straight down the middle but left a little skin on the bottom. I put it in the "hot spot" of my microwave for 10 seconds and it started sparking and then a ball of plasma rose up out of the grape. It was the sweetest thing ever. You can google it if you have no clue what I'm talking about.

Why does this happen? I'm looking for the scientific reason behind this, as I'm sure there is one. It boggles my mind because a microwave has nowhere NEAR enough power to superheat air into plasma.

Here's a video of what I'm talking about.
MournSanity is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2004, 08:11 PM   #2
PottedMeat
Lifer
 
PottedMeat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 10,361
Default RE: Why does a grape in a microwave create plasma?

my guess is that the two halves act as a dipole antenna at microwave frequencies. the "antenna" picks up enough energy and high currents are induced in the grape. the point of highest resistance is the little part in the middle so thats where it heats up the most, eventually burning through.
PottedMeat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2004, 09:04 PM   #3
lexxmac
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 85
Default RE: Why does a grape in a microwave create plasma?

Here's a good answer to your question (found on, where else, google):

http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives...9591.Ph.r.html
lexxmac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2004, 07:47 PM   #4
RadBrad
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 115
Default RE:Why does a grape in a microwave create plasma?

Quote:
Originally posted by: lexxmac
Here's a good answer to your question (found on, where else, google):

http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives...9591.Ph.r.html
That was a very effecient, highly technical method of killing this otherwise fascinating post. I now understand why my grape would not ignite.
RadBrad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2004, 10:51 PM   #5
DrPizza
Administrator
Elite Member
Goat Whisperer
 
DrPizza's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Western NY
Posts: 44,073
Default RE:Why does a grape in a microwave create plasma?

I haven't tried it, but heard that it works better if you use HALF of a grape, and split that in half again, leaving the skin attached as you described. For more fun, convince coworkers that you saw on 20/20 or so other such documentary show that they discovered that they use mercury and cadmium to fertilize the grapes in foreign countries, because the metal gets into the grape and makes it taste sweeter and last longer. A quick demonstration with this experiment, and you'll usually hook any disbelievers in the crowd.
__________________
Fainting Goats
DrPizza is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2004, 12:25 AM   #6
stardust
Golden Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,282
Default RE:Why does a grape in a microwave create plasma?

Quote:
Originally posted by: DrPizza
I haven't tried it, but heard that it works better if you use HALF of a grape, and split that in half again, leaving the skin attached as you described. For more fun, convince coworkers that you saw on 20/20 or so other such documentary show that they discovered that they use mercury and cadmium to fertilize the grapes in foreign countries, because the metal gets into the grape and makes it taste sweeter and last longer. A quick demonstration with this experiment, and you'll usually hook any disbelievers in the crowd.
umm, which crowd would that be? why not just say your backyard is radioactive and spare the "geekiness"
then again, it wouldn't be highly technical.

my physics professor demonstrated this experiment in class a few months back. you should also try soap in the microwave.
__________________
E6400 @ 3.8 // v1.433
Asus P5B-E Dlx
2GB OCZ PC2-6400 Platinum R2
eVGA 8800GT


stardust is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2004, 06:36 PM   #7
DrPizza
Administrator
Elite Member
Goat Whisperer
 
DrPizza's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Western NY
Posts: 44,073
Default RE:Why does a grape in a microwave create plasma?

Oh, of course I've tried soap in the microwave. And LED's, and florescent light bulbs, and lit candles, and the entire bottom lined with marshmellows (to measure the wavelength/frequency of the microwave), regular light bulbs, and coasters (CDR's and DVDR's).

Hint, experiment with such things only if you don't mind possibly needing to buy a new microwave.
__________________
Fainting Goats
DrPizza is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2004, 08:39 PM   #8
OpTiX
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Toronto
Posts: 668
Default RE:Why does a grape in a microwave create plasma?

Quote:
Originally posted by: DrPizza
Oh, of course I've tried soap in the microwave. And LED's, and florescent light bulbs, and lit candles, and the entire bottom lined with marshmellows (to measure the wavelength/frequency of the microwave), regular light bulbs, and coasters (CDR's and DVDR's).

Hint, experiment with such things only if you don't mind possibly needing to buy a new microwave.
im gonna try all that......................one day
__________________
Im Packing More Heat Than An Oven

My Rig

3D Mark 2K1
OpTiX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2004, 04:57 PM   #9
tranceport
Diamond Member
 
tranceport's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Houston
Posts: 4,156
Default RE: Why does a grape in a microwave create plasma?

cool. me too. I'm gonna buy some grapes tonight.
__________________
The Systems Engineer
HeatWare

Bitcoin: 1Nx3D76evkP3QFQcebBDQxAqpZgoGfEs9V
tranceport is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2004, 09:55 PM   #10
capybara
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 630
Default RE: Why does a grape in a microwave create plasma?

um, id love to see the video, but i get this error: file type = video clip (not mpeg)
windows media player error. unable to decompress. i know i can play mpegs, but whats this? video clip isnt a file type is it?
capybara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2004, 12:05 AM   #11
pbi
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 2
Default RE: Why does a grape in a microwave create plasma?

quicktime movie
pbi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2004, 12:17 AM   #12
Sunner
Elite Member
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Posts: 11,641
Default RE:Why does a grape in a microwave create plasma?

Quote:
Originally posted by: capybara
um, id love to see the video, but i get this error: file type = video clip (not mpeg)
windows media player error. unable to decompress. i know i can play mpegs, but whats this? video clip isnt a file type is it?
Try VLC.
That way you won't have to install SlowTime.
Sunner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2004, 08:24 AM   #13
Eraserface
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 14
Default RE: Why does a grape in a microwave create plasma?

Does this work with grape wine or juice?
Eraserface is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:04 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.