Friday Fun: Things you can microwave July 17, 2015Posted by mareserinitatis in Friday Fun, homeschooling, science, younger son.
Tags: friday fun, microwaves, soap, thermal expansion
Most people are familiar with the concept of microwaving a grape to make an arc. If not, the procedure is very simple: cut a grape in half but leave just a small bit of skin to connect to the two halves. Put the grape on a plate in the microwave, turn it on, and watch the sparks fly. (As a side note, I’ve been able to replicate this on a smaller scale when microwaving green beans.) This video explains it fairly clearly:
This week, we discovered another fun microwaving activity: soap. I can’t be just any soap: it specifically has to be Ivory soap. Apparently it gets hot and the gas bubbles expand causing it to create a hot foam which grows fairly quickly. You can’t do it with other soaps, however, because they’re too hard and will explode.
We used a whole bar of soap with our experiment, but the younger son told us later that the demo he saw only used a smaller chunk. Be careful after you pull it out of the microwave: it’s hot! Also, once it’s cooled, you can use the soap, although it may be more useful to stick it into a soap sleeve than try to use it directly.
It looked like this when we were finished:
To see the whole process, the video is here.