Radiative heat transfer and states of matter

  • #1
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I noticed that my tea heats up faster than the cup it's in when I microwave it... how come? aren't solids more conductive? Also... I was wondering how the notion of vibrating atoms/electrons (heat) squares with quantum mechanics, probability waves and such?
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
berkeman
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The frequency of the 2.4GHz RF that is used in microwave ovens was chosen because it is absorbed/heats water molecules very effectively. The plastic of the cup has no water molecules or metal particles, and so it doesn't absorb much of the RF energy.
 
  • #3
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thank you, that explains the tea observation
it's a porcelain cup (opaque), I don't think that matters
in any case, I see... but excluding the different absorption bias' of the various molecules, if a solid, a liquid, and a gas were heated via radiation... the solid should heat up the fastest, right?
 
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