Microwave Oven Experiments

On Saturday, May 15, 2004 it is my intention to conduct a series of experiments - in the name of science - utilizing a Microwave Oven and various ordinary household items. Provided it does not rain, I will set up the Microwave Oven on a picnic table approximately 25 feet from my home and automobile, and approximately 75 feet from any casual passers-by. In addition to the picnic table, the Microwave Oven, and a 40-foot extension cord, I will have binoculars (for distance-viewing during the experiments), a Welding Mask, a Leather Apron and Gloves, and (Heaven forbid!) two fire extinguishers. The rain date will be the following Saturday - May 22, 2004.

I would like to invite you, fellow Dopers, to participate by suggesting items with which I might experiment. Thus far, I have identified three items which I intend to place in the Microwave Oven and bombard with Microwave Radiation, to see what will actually happen (have I mentioned that this is in the name of science?)…

[ul]A Twinkie™ (sealed in it’s original packaging)[/ul]
[ul]An egg, with neither its yolk nor its shell pierced[/ul]
[ul]a Package of Peeps™ (removed from original packaging)[/ul]

So please make your suggestions as early as possible, as your request may require a trip to the grocery or hardware store. I will choose specific items based on cost, availability, accessibility, and practicality. I will not hurt any Living Creatures, nor will I unduely or recklessly endanger any innocent observers. I will thoroughly clean the Oven between experiments, and will continue as long as it is safe, practical, and possible to do so. I will record the following information for each experiment…

[ul]Item furnished w/brief description of overall appearence[/ul]
[ul]Intended duration of exposure (to Microwave radiation)[/ul]
[ul]Actual duration of exposure[/ul]
[ul]Results w/brief description of overall appearence[/ul]

I will post my findings on May 17, 2004 or in the event of a rain delay: May 24, 2004

These might render the microwave useless, but:

a piece of wet cloth, such as a wash rag or pair of undies (clean, preferably)


a bottle of soft drink, unopened

a fork

a bottle of water, unopened

Will you please take before and after pictures of each item? :smiley:

An old computer circuit board.

A small flourescent bulb should get REALLY bright before melting or exploding.

A regular incandescent bulb, in a glass with enough water for the base to sit in, will light up.

A wad of steel wool in a bowl, with some kerosene in it. OK, no, DO NOT do that one. :stuck_out_tongue:

You can watch grapes race. Coat the bottom of the oven with a light layer of oil, like vegetable oil. Lay grapes against one wall in a row, with the stem ends pointing towards that wall. As the grapes heat up, the pressurized juice shoots out the hole and propels the grapes forward, sliding on the layer of oil.

I once used my microwave thinking it would be a great way to ensure no bacteria on my newly cleaned toothbrushes.

Hmmm. It was a plan that was not well-thought out in advance.

Upon retrieving the said toothbrushes from the microwave, they had melted and totally opened into pretty, and useless, 360 degree mini-toilet brushes. My guess is that they were, however, very sanitary.

I have also heard if you put a (working) light bulb in the micro-wave, it will light up shortly before it explodes and kills your family and loved ones watching the experiment over there by the beer keg.

Thank you for reviving pleasant memories of other Twinkie/Microwave experiments:[ol]
[li]Twinkie Failure Testing[/li][li]The T.W.I.N.K.I.E.S. Project (Alas, all the links I could find were dead)[/li][li]Wierd Science Alas, some of the links are dead.[/li][/ol]

There is entirely too little silliness of this sort on the web these days.


How about:


Cheese in a Can

Oh, did you want to be able to use the microwave for its intended purpose afterwards? In that case, never mind . . .

Ooooh! Recreate our family’s experiment with our first microwave!

Take two hot dogs.
Slit them at half-inch intervals, 45 degrees diagonally to the length.
Microwave for ten minutes.
Watch as hot dogs uncurl and twist in agony and ecstacy.

http://margo.student.utwente.nl/el/microwave/ looks like a good place for inspiration. Aw hell, http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=microwave+experiments

D-cell battery

bottle of rubbing alcohol

can of coke

credit card

pile of pocket change

hehehe. I’ve tried a shell-less egg, but with unpierced yolk. By accident. I won’t give spoilers.

How about dish liqued, grounded coffee, cat-food, a barbie doll, a fire cracker, your mother in-law’s favorite brass figurine and grass [whatever sort ;)]?

any update?

I just have to ask, Winston - what did junk food ever do to you?

poor little Twinkie

Boy, this is one of those thread titles that just screams, “Bad things gonna happen!” It’s like if there were a thread titled, “So I’m going to walk into a KKK meeting with Chris Rock and Chuck D” or “Help me prove my wife is a complete idiot.”

Ordinary light bulb is always great. Add a small cup of water if you want to use your microwave again. It doesn’t matter whether you use a blown bulb or a working one. But they will look slightly different.

Piece of paper with dark pencil rubbed on it will scorch and burst into flames along the pencil lines. Great for microwave art.

I read a story once (Sydney Morning Herald IIRC) about a nine year old boy who cooked a golfball while his parents were out. Oh well, never mind. They were planning on re-doing the kitchen at some stage anyway. It seems that after the event there was no microwave, very little kitchen, but an awful lot of golf ball.

Other fun things to try.
Rip a decent sized capacitor off a circuit and see what happens.
Other sports equipment. I bet a tennis ball or squash ball would be fun.
A fountain pen.
plastic coke bottle half filled with the lid on tightly.

I saw a video clip of a pretty neat (and moderately destrucive) microwave experiment. The tester (read: drunk college student) placed in the microwave: a small candle under a drinking glass, with small unidentified objects supporting the glass so there would be air for the candle. When the oven was turned on (and the lights turned out), the flame grew extremely bright, and a glowing fireball rose from the candle to hover at the top of the glass. It stayed there for a few seconds before the glass shattered. Cool.

Results: Looks cool.

Results: Looks cool.

Results: Melted Peep.

Roommate’s Expresso pot:
Results: Broken handle, which can easily be fixed with Super-glue, and a very amusing answering machine message.

Six ounces of flash powder:
Results: Nothing… until three feet of primer cord is attached and everyone is safe behind their bunker; then good luck finding all the pieces of the oven.

Steel wool makes an interesting light show.

I hear marshmellows puff up and deflate. Supposed to be kinda cool.

Light bulbs make for a fun display too, but only put them on for a few seconds. Supposedly the glass starts to melt if you nuke them for longer than that.

Soap (bar soap, like what you use in your bathtub) puffs up and makes neat shapes. I’m not sure if this is only for certain brands.

Slice a grape almost in half, leaving just a thin bit of skin connecting the two halves. Nuke for about 10 seconds. I won’t tell you what will happen but you’ll probably be surprised.

Christmas tree ornaments supposedly make a nice light show too, similar to a CD.

Eggs will explode.

Warning: It is possible to damage your microwave by doing these sorts of things.