How To: Make plasma from grapes

Make plasma from grapes

You have seen a match make plasma in the microwave. You have seen a compact disc light up. Now you are going to see why it is dangerous to put grapes in the microwave.

What's going on? Well, I only have an idea for some parts. The first part is speculation -- the sparks are resulting from an electrical discharge between the sides of the grape, as is evident by watching and as supported by the 120Hz buzz that coincides with the grape flaming. It could be that the particular size of the grape relative to the wavelengths of the microwaves in the oven causes the discharge, but I don't know if I believe this yet. What is the mechanism for charge separation?

The discharges vaporize the sugars in the grape and then cause them to combust. The combustion products, if they get hot enough due to the continued electrical arcing, form a plasma (gas where the nuclei and electrons have been ripped apart from one another). This plasma is electricially conductive, and so absorbs microwaves keeping itself warm, and causing the cloud to glow. Since the cloud is hot, it rises to the top of the oven. However, the cloud seems to stay remarkably coherent. Why doesn't the could dissipate over timescales of several seconds?

9 Comments

Have you taken into consideration that grapes are treated with some type of sulfur to preserve them during travel. I have read that even on organic grapes (grown pesticide free but treated for preservation?!)

coooooooooool

Question, does it ruin the microwave?

um ya its not plasma if it were it would cut through the glass ever herd of an invention called the plasma cutter

If that worked, than florescent lights would explode. I can tell you they don't, I have one right next to me now.
Do some actual research before acting like a know-it-all.

the plasma cutter does not create real plasma, in fact this is not even real plasma. Plasma is a state of matter in which separate atoms move by each other freely, like molecules do in liquids. If you want a example of real plasma it is what the surface of the sun is made up of; because of its constant nuclear activity. And if you still don't believe me look in a science book like I did. Please research before you comment.

I think its safe to say that boberto, being of Latin decent probably knows a thing or two about the properties of plasma...Nerdking haven't you heard of that thing called a plasma cutter? I rest my case.

ya dumbasses its called ive used a plasma cutter and they are the closest thing to real plasma and flourescent bulbs are nowere nere plasma.

boberto, what job do you do that allows you to handle a plasma cutter?
Most plasma cutters are handled by robots because of safety and accuracy.

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