|MadSci Network: Chemistry|
Dear Mr. Lauren, If you have time, I would like you to tell me who gave you the idea of putting soap and water together in a bowl and putting it in the microwave oven. I have done similar things and I hate cleaning up the mess! I would really like to have more information, if you don't mind. If the soap was liquid soap and water, I would be surprised if the mixture would burst out of the bowl. If the soap and water mixture was thick, like a paste, then I can see why it might happen. In a microwave oven, the energy goes inside an object a few centimeters before it is converted to heat. That means the inside of a pasty mixture would boil before the outside would be hot. If the inside is boiling and building up pressure while the outside is hard, when the pressure gets large enough to break out, it explodes like a bomb. You can do the same thing with a fresh egg, but I must warn you that the result really, really stinks. Get permission from an adult before doing any experiments, and best of all, have them watch with you. Dr. Peterson email@example.com
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