Science Microwaving Grapes Makes Plasma: We May Have Been Wrong About Why

Discussion in 'Headline News' started by tom_mai78101, Feb 19, 2019.

  1. tom_mai78101

    tom_mai78101 The Helper Connoisseur / Ex-MineCraft Host Staff Member

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    For years, the internet has hemmed and hawed over a mysterious yet universal truth: a grape, sliced nearly in half and placed in the microwave, will suddenly begin to spit plasma.

    The fiery sight had us mystified for years, garnering millions of views online and a variety of expert opinions, none of which were based on formal research. Now, at long last, a team of three physicists thinks they have it figured out.

    The newly published paper is the first peer-reviewed study on the topic, and the findings suggest that the most popular explanation put forward by armchair experts is probably incorrect.

    Over the years, several sources online have proposed that grapes create plasma because energy in the microwave charges up electrolytes in their water-heavy interiors.

    This, in turn, is thought to cause a flow of energy between the two slices of grape, a force that travels across the skin like an electrical wire. When enough energy is gathered, the whole thing produces a spark of plasma - an ionised gas that emits light - at the bridge of skin connecting the two.

    The authors of the new study have poked a hole in this explanation. It turns out that the bridge, one of the theory's key components, isn't necessary at all. As long as two whole grapes were no more than three millimetres apart, the researchers recorded a similar eruption of plasma.

    Read more here. (Science Alert)

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