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Can I do this in my microwave?

  1. Feb 23, 2006 #1


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    Is this possible, is it safe?

    What are some fun things to do in your microwave? What would happen if I put a golfball in?
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 23, 2006 #2


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    I didn't bother to read your post, but knowing you and reading the title, I advise against it.
  4. Feb 24, 2006 #3


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    I just put a potato chip bag in the microwave (I ate the chips) for four seconds. It was pretty darn cool. I highly recommend it!
  5. Feb 24, 2006 #4


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    Nothing much would happen to a dry golfball. If wet the water will heat up and go away as steam and then the dry golf ball will cool down.
    Microwave heating requires some movable and excitable atoms in in water and liquids.
  6. Feb 24, 2006 #5


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    Well, if you want to heat it, but I'm not going for making it hot, I'm going for ARCING and sparking in EXPLOOOSHIONS!!
  7. Feb 24, 2006 #6
    what an interestingly dangerous hobby you have, lets hope you dont progress onto animal experimentation involving microwaves
  8. Feb 24, 2006 #7


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    Um, Mk, there was a microwave thread on here already, in general physics, I think. There were shenanigans. Hilarity did ensue. Check it out.

    Oh, right, microwaves in physics doesn't narrow the search much. I found it. Ah, I'm so thoughtful. :smile: https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=49340

    Don't forget your safety goggles! :cool:

    Edit: Oops, I thought this was in GD.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2006
  9. Feb 24, 2006 #8


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    I am looking for some Physics content in this thread. Just sticking something in a microwave does not constitute physics. How about some meaningful observations or perhaps a measurment? Otherwise this will be moved to GD.
  10. Feb 24, 2006 #9
    I just did it!

    Well, I just did this experiment in front of my parents and I must admit, it is awesome!

    I found that only a fairly large container will work. I tried a pint jar first, with no luck. Then I used a wide-mouth quart jar. This worked quite well, but I could never keep the plasma ball for more than a split second. It would move to the top of the jar and then flash away. After this, I decided to try a 1 gallon fish bowl. Unfortunately, this would not fit in my microwave.

    If anyone else can try a bigger container, please try it and let me know what your findings are. I'm curious as to whether or not the duration, or even size, of the plasma is directly dependent on the size of the container being used.
  11. Feb 24, 2006 #10
    I nearly whack my head off in an accelerator experiment(non-nuclear) involving rapidly accelerating masses. I can tell you this:

    ANY experiment involving extreme physics can be dangerous or lethal. I would bet that you had your face less than 2-feet from the microwave door.
    Look, home microwave ovens are NOT DESIGNED TO CONTAIN a possible catastrophic explosion. As your first experiment succeeded, you will undoubtedly attempt to "push the limit" and see what can happen with other substances and/or arrangements within your home microwave oven.

    Please... consider the very real dangers you place yourself in.
  12. Feb 24, 2006 #11
    I don't fully understand the reactions that take place. Is there a chance of a serious, dangerous reaction?

    All insight is greatly welcome,
  13. Feb 24, 2006 #12
    Zach, your scientific interest is commendable, however, the apparatus used is not designed to explore plasma phenomenon. It's designed to cook food.
    Yes, there are SIGNIFICANT potential dangers if you alter its designed role.

    Mostly, Zach, this does not come from tried and proven simple home microwave experiments, rather from people trying to see "what can happen" if they change something in an effort to "elevate" the experiment. Your mind is curious enough that this could happen, forgeting all along that the home microwave oven is not designed to handle extreme events.
  14. Feb 24, 2006 #13
    Thanks. I'll let the microwave stick to its native job. Now, it's dinner time. I'm gonna go warm up some fettucini alfredo :smile:
  15. Feb 24, 2006 #14
    Is it ture that the author of hyperspace buit his own particle acceltor around the football feild of his school?

    I would take pallidin's advise of not performing any extrme secience experments at home.I see alot of these sites about buiding you nuclear rector or particle acceltor or somthing like that.Those sites seem like there written by collage students who are in the frist year of physics.
    You might want to read these before doing experment like that
    http://rabi.phys.virginia.edu/HTW/microwave_ovens.html [Broken]
    http://home.cvc.org/microwaves/microexp.htm [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  16. Feb 24, 2006 #15


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    Really, pallidin. You are ruining my ambition.

    I've always wanted to nominate someone for the Darwin Award. After reading this thread, I am THAT close to having one, possibly two, candidates. So back off, OK? Let Mother Nature takes its course.


  17. Feb 25, 2006 #16


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    Oh my god, I didn't think anybody would do it. This guy lived! Proof that it is not dangerous! Hope I come back tomorrow!
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