Science Questions

Why would raspberries spark in a microwave?

Tue, 1st May 2012

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David Frederick, Facebook asked:

Why would raspberries spark in a microwave?


Dave -   I imagine itís related to microwaving grapes. If you get a grape, cut it almost in half, so itís got a little bit of skin holding the two halves together and then open it up, and put it in the centre of the microwave where there's lots and lots of power. a microwave oven cook things by forcing electric currents to flow backwards and forwards in them, and you end up with a lot of current flowing through this little bit of skin that then dries out. Then you get the current wanting to flow across the gap and it actually jumps as a spark.  So my guess, what is happening with your raspberries is youíre getting raspberries very close together or just touching - that gap then dries out and it sparks across the gap.

Chris -   Also, raspberries are lots of little mini segments arenít they and I wonder if maybe each of the mini segments are behaving a bit like a half of a grape with the segment next door, do you think?

Dave -   Itís possible although I wouldíve thought that the contact between them was fairly good especially as itís heating up and getting mushy.


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