Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Why Does Metal Spark in the Microwave?

It's amazing what you can learn from the Sunday comics.
Micro-radiowaves cook by getting food molecules to jump around and get hot. This radio energy does different things to metals or the shiny metallic paint on some dishes. It can make dangerous sparks.

Microwave energy pushes electrons through metal. Different parts of the metal paint get different electrical charges. Sparks jumping between different parts of the metal balance out the charges. But their intense heat can also wreck the dish or even melt the whole oven.

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