victoria3 wrote:After reading ‘The Hidden Messages in Water’ by Dr. Masaru Emoto, I gave my microwave away. In one study he photographs frozen ice crystals after being placed in a microwave and they come out deformed and fragmented. It seems the structure of the water molecules are torn apart and deformed when heated in the microwave. Since water molecules are bipolar, having positive and negative ends, as they heat up they rotate rapidly, at extremely high frequencies, in the alternating electric field of the microwave, leading to deformed water molecules.
Microwaves interact with the dipole of water. Water is H2O in its simplest form, (ignoring clusters) but the bonds are rather labile and can easily switch (check out proton channels for a cool bio example). It is not really a H-O-H specific to each molecule, they are constantly changing which H and O's are bonded in solution, especially at higher temperatures, thus the concept of pH and pKa. The bottom line is you are not chemically altering it and with crystal growth the smallest microscopic physical defects can lead to very different macroscopic crystal motifs. If you want to get technical about it heating water is actually irritating it in with the infra-red radiation leading to the same thing, hot water. With regards to irridation, hot water is a state it does not matter how you get there heating by flame or microwave.
Admittedly I have not read the book, but I would hope that he would have developed a statistically significant sample since it is a simple experiment, as well as doing it in a cleanroom with purified water. The tiniest specks of dust wreak havoc on crystallizations, as I have found many times. I would love to discuss more but tried to keep it short and clear to avoid a flame war, but felt that the previous post needed to be addressed.
Microwaves will definitely melt and recrystallize micro domains and alter the macroscopic appearance of the crystal, I would be surprised if they did not.
Chip, feel free to leave or delete as you find appropriate.