Exploring Absorption of EM Quanta: The Truth About Microwaving Chocolate

In summary, the conversation discussed the idea of measuring the speed of light by microwaving a chocolate bar and how this was found to be partially bogus. It then moved on to discussing the probability of a photon being absorbed in a particular location and whether this varies from moment to moment. It was concluded that while the probability does oscillate from moment to moment, the amplitude of the oscillations remains the same. Additionally, the comparison was made to cavity/circuit-QED experiments where the placement of the ion/qubits maximizes the coupling.
  • #1
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I started out with a video of someone "measuring" the speed of light by microwaving a chocolate bar. Not surprisingly, this turned out to be partially bogus.
http://morningcoffeephysics.com/measuring-the-speed-of-light-with-chocolate-and-a-microwave-oven/

This sparked some more questions. Let's (falsely) assume that our chocolate bar is heated by a standing microwave. I think I am right in that the probability that a photon will be absorbed in any particular location is the square of a sine wave. Is it true that this probability does not vary from moment to moment?

I hope that this is clear.
 
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  • #2
The probability will oscillate from moment to moment, (on a time scale of (1/2,450,000,000) seconds, or about 0.4 nanoseconds), but the amplitude of the oscillations will stay the same, so hot spots don't change to cold spots, and vise versa.
 
  • #3
I don't think that is correct. The probability should be constant, but will depend on if you are coupling via the electric or magnet dipole.moment. .
This should be exactly equivalent to a cavity/circuit-QED experiments where the ion/qubits are placed in node/antinodes of the resonator (depending on the type of coupling you want) to maximize the coupling.
 
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1. How does microwaving chocolate differ from traditional methods of melting chocolate?

Microwaving chocolate uses electromagnetic radiation to heat up the chocolate, while traditional methods like using a double boiler or stovetop rely on convection to transfer heat from a hot surface to the chocolate. This difference in heating methods can affect the final texture and taste of the melted chocolate.

2. Can microwaving chocolate cause it to lose its nutritional value?

No, microwaving chocolate does not significantly impact the nutritional value of the chocolate. The melting process may cause some minor changes in the structure of the chocolate, but it does not alter its nutrients.

3. Is it safe to microwave chocolate in its original packaging?

It is not recommended to microwave chocolate in its original packaging as it may contain metal or foil, which can cause sparks and potentially damage the microwave. It is best to transfer the chocolate to a microwave-safe container before heating.

4. How do microwaves affect the absorption of EM quanta in chocolate?

Microwaves are a type of electromagnetic radiation that is specifically tuned to be absorbed by water molecules. Since chocolate contains small amounts of water, microwaves can easily penetrate and heat up the chocolate. This leads to the absorption of EM quanta and the subsequent melting of the chocolate.

5. Can microwaving chocolate cause it to burn or become scorched?

Yes, microwaving chocolate for too long or at too high of a power setting can cause it to burn or become scorched. It is important to monitor the chocolate closely and stir it frequently to prevent overheating. It is also recommended to use a lower power setting to prevent scorching.

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