What happens to christmas ornaments when its put into a microwave?

Why does the christmas ornament light up when hit by microwave rays?
What is the chemistry behind it?

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2 Responses to “What happens to christmas ornaments when its put into a microwave?”

  1. boohoo_Jebus said:

    This is a good way to blow up your mother’s over. It lights up because of heat.

  2. proteus800 said:

    It is not chemistry, at least not directly. The lights are due to the interaction of the microwave energy with the metallic coatings on the ornaments. When the microwaves strike the metallic coating, the metals in the ornaments develop high currents which can easily heat the thin coatings to the point of melting and even combusting. In effect, the metallic coating is acting like an antenna that is shorted. Because of the varying pattern of energy inside the microwave, the energy distribution can be somewhat random, so the “sparks” will form at various points on the ornament.

    Of course, performing this experiment is not recomended. It can damage the microwave and result in toxic smoke as the dyes and pigments in the ornament burn.


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