Tea is tasteless due to uneven heating of water in the microwave

Tea is tasteless due to uneven heating of water in the microwave
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American physicists have found out why water heated in a microwave is not good for making tea. To solve this problem, they created a special glass with a silver coating. The water in the microwave boils the same way as it does in a kettle. The research was conducted by a group of Chinese researchers led by Baoqing Zeng and published in an American scientific journal AIP Advances.

From a technical point of view, microwave ovens are quite simple. They heat up food, causing water molecules to oscillate being bombarded with microwave beams of approximately the same frequency at which Wi-Fi networks operate.

The source of these waves, which are distributed in a special way through the inner chamber of the microwave oven, is the so-called magnetron. This device is a metal cylinder with many slots, which supports a powerful magnetic field. This field causes the flow of electrons that generate the cathode of the magnetron to oscillate at a certain frequency and emit flashes of electromagnetic waves.

Delicious tea from the microwave

After the invention of first microwave ovens, the users noticed that if you brew tea with water that was boiled in such a device, its taste changes, and not for the better. This phenomenon immediately attracted the attention of physicists. They have been actively debating for several decades about what distinguishes an ordinary kettle from a microwave.

A group of scientists led by Baoqing Zeng found an explanation for this phenomenon and figured out how to deal with this problem. To do this, physicists have calculated in detail what happens to different layers of water that is heated inside an ordinary kettle and in a microwave.

Their results show that the reason for differences in the taste of tea may be that the water in the microwave, unlike the kettle, is heated unevenly. This is due to the fact that when water is heated on a gas or electric stove inside a kettle or glass, convection occurs - a water cycle that transfers heat from the bottom of the vessel to its cold upper part.

There is no convection in a glass of water inside the microwave. This causes the upper layers of the liquid to heat up more than the lower ones. According to the physicists, this is partly due to the fact that there is no difference between the temperature of the upper and lower part of the glass walls of a glass.

Guided by this idea, scientists covered the upper rim of the glass with a thin layer of silver. It should redirect microwave radiation to the lower part of the vessel, reducing the heating of its upper part.

In such conditions, convection kicks in and water even in the microwave boils according to the classic physical pattern. As scientists hope, their discovery will significantly expand the scope of application for microwave ovens and improve their image in the eyes of fans of tea and “naturally” cooked food.

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