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Metal inside a microwave oven -> ice?

  1. Sep 27, 2009 #1
    Metal inside a microwave oven --> ice?

    When I was younger, I placed water inside a tin pan and placed it inside a microwave. I tuned it on, sparks went everywhere and I quickly turned it off. I took the pan out and it was solid ice. How?

    A while ago I read an article in New Scientist that said they could create ice by zapping it with electricity or something (i forget).
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 28, 2009 #2
    Re: Metal inside a microwave oven --> ice?

    WHAT??? I don't believe this...I firmly stand behind the second law of thermodynamics.
  4. Nov 1, 2009 #3
    Re: Metal inside a microwave oven --> ice?

    Sorry to say, it happened. Who said the process breached the 2nd law of thermodynamics? An artificial low-entropy system can endear another system to decrease entropy. Just like a fridge can decrease the entropy of water into ice. Nobody said anything was breaching the 2nd law of thermodynamics.
    Just because we don't understand the process between the microwave oven creating ice doesn't mean it was a statistical fluke that is bound to happen every so often in a stretch of infinite (high-entropy transforming into low-entropy, eggs unsplattering).
  5. Nov 1, 2009 #4
    Re: Metal inside a microwave oven --> ice?

    Where did the water come from? Water that is free of impurities can be supercooled (below freezing) without solidifying. But when it is agitated it turns to ice.
  6. Nov 2, 2009 #5
    Re: Metal inside a microwave oven --> ice?

    The tap, Room temperature.
    Perhaps understand of this requires a deep comprehension of what happens on the atomic level during a phase transition.
  7. Nov 2, 2009 #6
    Re: Metal inside a microwave oven --> ice?

    ok... I admit of course I know little about atomic level behaviour in phase transitions, though it seems still very unlikely, and unreasonable; you're sending microwave radiation centered around the resonating frequency of a water molecule (ideally) and you tell me that by sending energy inside the system composed of a tin pan and water you get a block of frozen water? I insist this doesn't sound possible... though of course I might be wrong, if I had a scrap microwave I would have tried to reproduce it, though I can't think of a reason behind that, so that to me this seems just a breaching of the second law, and you know, a Carnot fridge is not sening more energy in the system it is supposed to be cooling.
  8. Nov 2, 2009 #7
    Re: Metal inside a microwave oven --> ice?

    True, it is extremely strange, assuming I'm not lying of course. And I agree, it doesn't seem logical. Nothing in google even makes a mention of this.
  9. Nov 2, 2009 #8
    Re: Metal inside a microwave oven --> ice?

    of course I assume you're not lying and you don't experiment with this stuff under hallucinogens, the fact keeps being puzzling...
  10. Nov 4, 2009 #9
    Re: Metal inside a microwave oven --> ice?

    I've never seen such action (and I've zapped quite a few things in microwave ovens...old CD ROMs being one of the better ones to try and they don't come out frozen!). Obviously nobody can say it's "impossible" since we don't have knowledge of all the weird actions in the universe. But so far as I know there are no known mechanisms for such an effect. The only thing that might come close to such an action would be the reported cooling of rooms by gurus and mystics. The considerable energy being extracted from a large area and presumably transported to some location is similar to your pan of water having heat extracted from it and ending up frozen. You are the only person I've ever heard of who claims to have seen such a thing in a microwave oven.
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