Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Boiling Water in a Microwave

I know it's too convenient, but if you boil water in a microwave, be careful! Better yet, don't! Read on, a very helpful info for everybody, especially for those who are always on the go...

"Water from the cup, when boiled in a microwave, can blow up in your face. This is not an urban legend. It is caused by a phenomenon known as super heating. This can occur anytime water is heated, and will particularly occur if the vessel that the water is heated in is new, or when heating a small amount of water (less than half a cup). What happens is that the water heats faster than vapor bubbles can form. If the cup is very new, it is unlikely to have small surface scratches inside it that provide a place for the bubbles to form. Since the bubbles cannot form and release some of the heat that has built up, the liquid does not boil, and the liquid continues to heat up well past its boiling point. What then usually happens is that the liquid is bumped or jarred, which is just enough of a shock to cause the bubbles to rapidly form and expel the hot liquid. (The rapid formation of bubbles is also why a carbonated beverage spews when opened after having been shaken.")
If you even decide to heat water in a microwave, place something, such as a wooden stir stick, tea bag, etc., in the cup to diffuse the energy A much safer choice is to boil the water in a tea kettle."

And now we know...