Scientists have finally figured out why grapes in the microwave emit plasma

In 1995, a young physicist Aaron Slepkov came across a site that presented an experiment with the release of ionized gas from grapes under the influence of microwave radiation. The future scientist was so amazed that such a complex physical effect could be obtained in an ordinary kitchen that it became his dream. Twenty years later, Slepkov, now a professor, described in detail the essence and method of reproducing this process.

In the initial experiments, he tried to repeat the old method, which required partly cutting the grape, leaving a jumper of the rind between the halves. It was she who was the point at which the plasma was generated. After 12 ruined microwaves and many kilograms of spoiled food, the professor realized that grapes and peels had nothing to do with it. We need two arbitrary spheres filled with liquid, which are in contact, and this is the point of their contact and will be the place where the plasma appears.

Microwaves are a type of light, they have a common electromagnetic nature, so spherical objects with liquid serve as a kind of lenses, collecting and amplifying radiation. You can take a couple of quail eggs, cherries, hydrogel balls - the result will be about the same. In his experiments, the professor managed to separate the actual plasma generation, as a secondary effect, and the process of focusing radiation between spheres, therefore this aspect is described in great detail.

As a result, Slepkov's experiments with spheres and microwaves led to new discoveries in an advanced field of physics called nanoplasmonics. It turned out that under certain conditions, two nanoparticles under the influence of strong radiation will behave similarly to grapes in the microwave. And if you experiment with the properties of the material, then instead of generating plasma, you can act on the light and, theoretically, "pack" it in a very compact volume. And even though this is already too difficult for even Slepkov's colleagues to understand, the very concept of how fruits in a microwave move world physics forward finds a very wide resonance among them.