Microwave plasma


Every so often I learn a new microwave trick. [skuhl] sent in this …. myspace video. It appears that with a microwave, a jar and a candle to get things going, you can create you r very own plasma in a jar. You’ll probably kill your microwave doing this, but damn it looks cool.

Comments

  1. Binome says:

    My favorite microwave hack is the classic light bulb. It’s like this, except less messy. Tin Foil accordions work good too, along with the aol cd.

  2. Paul says:

    I saw another film about this, done by a person that seemed to actually know what he was talking about and that person made a big deal of talking about how the gasses that are created by this are toxic. In the film with the guy he immediately carried the jar outside and aired it out.

    Hmm… I think I am going to do some research now…

  3. Paul says:
  4. Paul says:

    ok, sorry for the tripple comment but I did some more searching and no one else mentions the gas risk so mayhaps it was just some dude being paranoid.

    In either case I found another possibly bigger risk the glass cup can explode from the extreme heat (or maybe it was from opening the door to soon after the reaction had stopped causing a rapid changei n temperature on the glass)

  5. Rob says:

    NO2 – if even a viable compound – would not be created from Carbon plasma(which is what a match in a jar produces). Your video that you posted paul goes even further to demonstrate this guy lacks common sense by having a gas can next to the plasma-inducing microwave(he even points this out with his rainbow text). Generally, the only toxic gasses which would be produced by a standard wooden match would be Carbon Monoxide (CO) and CO2 or N2 which would both be suffocating agents rather than toxic, and there wouldn’t be enough produced to suffocate you.

  6. ... says:

    You must keep in mind that our atmosphere isn’t pure O2, and that not all reactions run like you would expect them to. The main thing you would be worried about in this experiment would be the oxides of nitrogen (and associated byproducts)that are produced wen you heat air to to a few thousand degrees… Those are quite certainly toxic, although unless you let the experiment run for a while and then go take a good sniff of the brown/red gas in the jar you should be fine.

    In any case, this has been around since before myspace was born…

  7. TJHooker says:

    It was kind of dumbed down by the commentary, but it’s something more visually appealing than most of the-back to the basics-science experiments you see online.

    Sounded like a mom and her kids bought some mushrooms from a shady character at soccer practice, and went home to play with the home appliances. Judging from “way cool” I’d say it was gated community antics.

  8. Robynhub says:

    Hey check this article about Plasma and Microwave. This a little bit more scientific than youtube or google video!
    http://jlnlabs.online.fr/plasma/gmrtst/
    Feedbacks wellcome.

  9. Alex McCown says:

    take the transformer outa the microwave and spark it its like 4″ plasma and my bank of 4 for my tesla coill although ballasted down to 25 amp it still makes 1.5′ arcs

    (im a high voltage geek)

  10. andre says:

    i was looking into this, even obtained an old microwave and attached a camera to the top of one of the 5mm vent holes. Got lousy pictures (cheap camera) but it was interesting to say the least.

    Might be interesting to attach a glass pipe to one of the existing side or rear vents with the other end in the middle of the oven, and pipe carbon/air mixture out of this. Should generate a veritable cloud of plasmoids…

    -A

  11. michael says:

    I saw this on a German science program while I was in Germany. It was really awesome until the glass shattered!

  12. Josh says:

    I believe it is a toothpick not a candle. You can get the same effect with a toothpick in play dough, try it if you don’t care too much for your general health.

  13. Brian says:

    Although interesting, this is uber old

  14. jim says:

    Myspace? come on…. Either way I guess, this is pretty cool, kind of old, but pretty cool…

  15. jim says:

    It looks like the have something wrong with their set up though… It should stay a constant ball of plasma, shouldn’t it? I don’t think they allowed for a enough air flow, otherwise it would have stayed lit longer.

  16. MRE says:

    Robynhub: I have to admit, that video was FAR more impressive then this one posted.. the Plasmoid actually sings in it.. I second your linkie.. go here people: http://jlnlabs.online.fr/plasma/gmrtst/

    You have to have real player, but it was worth the download.

  17. MRE says:

    @ jim: my guess is that grabbing carbon atoms off of the match stick isn’t as easy (thus the reason for lighting it on fire). Plasma is likely burning the atoms out of the fire faster then the fire can produce them. I would assume that no matter how much air flow, a constant plasmoid wont be possible this way. you need something where a large supply of carbon atoms is already freely available, so the plasmoid isnt waiting around for more carbon to be generated. Check out #8 for the real deal.

  18. conairh says:

    the comments say something about poster putty instead of a candle.

    anyway, for a bunch of other ideas for things to put in microwaves try this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVMjkLoWq00

    (its an actual TV show not some dumbass kid with a cellphone camera)

  19. Alan says:

    I’ve done this before. It looks really cool!

  20. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ux8nSWmAz0&mode=related&search=
    You can make it a lot easier with a grape, and surely it’ll be less toxic.
    This trick is fairly old, and it must be a slow hack day.

  21. corbs132 says:
  22. Nick says:

    You can do this with a grape too, just cut it almost all the way through so that the two sides are barely attached.

  23. Jerrod says:

    Hey guys, thats my vid, thanks for all the traffic ;)

    Toxic gas? Paranoid. Does the microwave work still? Of course, 1 year later. Am I a soccer mom on mushrooms? Nope. Slow hackday? Must have been!

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