Put Strange Stuff in the Microwave

By Gever Tulley with Julie Spiegler

Experiment with electromagnetic radiation in the kitchen.


Metal Foil

A CD is just a thin sheet of aluminum foil sealed between circular sheets of hard plastic. Microwaves are absorbed by metal (that’s why you are never supposed to put cutlery in the microwave) and when the metal is thin enough, surprising things can happen.

1. Place an unwanted CD on a paper towel in the microwave.

2. Run at full power for 3 seconds.

The Grape Antenna

All radio wavelengths can be measured as the distance between peaks in the waveform. As it turns out, a common grape is about one-quarter of the wavelength of the energy produced in a microwave oven — a magical relationship for ...

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