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Metal pots in microwaves?

  1. Dec 21, 2008 #1


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    What would happen? Why
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 26, 2008 #2
    The powerful microwave radiation induces surface currents and voltage on the metal pots. Kinda like what happens on a surface of a dish antenna pointing at the satellite up in the sky, but on a very high energy level.

    The microwave oven uses a powerful oscillator that puts a ton of Electromagnetic (EM) energy (mine puts 1100 watts of it!) into the chamber. High EM energy = extremely high surface currents on the metal objects and extremely high voltages on sharp points. High currents = high energy dissipating as heat, and high voltage means arcing to other (mostly metal) parts inside the microwave oven itself.

    Given this is what goes on here is what might happen if you put a metal pot in it: the metal pot will heat and heat until its red hot and temps exceeding 1000 degree Celsius, The plastic door etc. will melt, some radiation will start to leak out, and in the mean time the voltage build and builds... and finally there will be some sparks and then BOOM! A spectacular explosive discharge (I am pretty sure most of the discharge will be into the source of the microwaves - the magnetron oscillator itself). You've got a lightning discharge from the pot to wherever there is a low electric potential...

    After that...well, you know the usual stuff....the smoke alarm and fire sprinkler will go off and fire department comes, and ....
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