Why does a grape in a microwave create plasma?

Discussion in 'Highly Technical' started by MournSanity, Mar 6, 2004.

  1. MournSanity

    MournSanity Diamond Member

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    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.
     
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  3. PottedMeat

    PottedMeat Lifer

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    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.
     
  4. lexxmac

    lexxmac Member

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  5. RadBrad

    RadBrad Member

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    That was a very effecient, highly technical method of killing this otherwise fascinating post. I now understand why my grape would not ignite.
     
  6. DrPizza

    DrPizza Administrator Elite Member Goat Whisperer
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    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. :D
     
  7. stardust

    stardust Golden Member

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    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.
     
  8. DrPizza

    DrPizza Administrator Elite Member Goat Whisperer
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    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.
     
  9. OpTiX

    OpTiX Senior member

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    im gonna try all that......................one day
     
  10. tranceport

    tranceport Diamond Member

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    cool. me too. I'm gonna buy some grapes tonight.
     
  11. capybara

    capybara Senior member

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    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?
     
  12. pbi

    pbi Junior Member

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    quicktime movie
     
  13. Sunner

    Sunner Elite Member

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    Try VLC.
    That way you won't have to install SlowTime.
     
  14. Eraserface

    Eraserface Banned

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    Does this work with grape wine or juice?