A friend of mine showed me a neat trick the other day. He put a light bulb in a cup of water, put it in a microwave and turned it on. The bulb blinked on and off. So whats going on here? Is the water transporting the current via oxidation/reduction? Because I thought the microwave energy was only enough to change the vibration of the water molecules, not enough to ionize them. My physics prof. did not believe me when I told him this was an incandescant bulb with a filament. He did a demonstration in class with a florescent bulb held near a Van Der Graff generator, and it lit up. So what is the difference between an florescent and incandescant light bulb?