You might not know who Steve Spangler is by name, but chances are you have done one of his wacky experiments. Remember the Diet Coke and Mentos craze where dropping a mint Mentos into a two-liter bottle of Diet Coke produced a fountain of froth? Steve Spangler is the man for starting that craze. He holds the Guinness World Record for the largest science lesson, which happened in front of 5,401 people over 51 minutes.
Well, Steve is back at it again, only this time he is talking about microwaving a potato chip bag. Why would he want to do that? In his own words, “Don’t ask, some things are just better left alone.” This experiment is extremely simple and only requires an empty bag and a microwave. Make sure the bag is foil lined and then microwave it on high for five seconds.
While the thought of microwaving metal may set off every warning that your mother or father ever told you about metal and microwaves, there seems to be little harm done. After five seconds, the result is pretty amazing.
What happens is the molecules that make up the chip bag are stretched out when it is made, and exposure to the brief heat in the microwave makes them collapse into each other. These long polymer chains have the chemical bonds that hold them open and long broken by the heat.
It is amazing and it is nice to know that the Steve Spangler is still creating experiments to teach people about science.