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Re: Taste: Microwave Heating vs Boiling

On Thu, 15 Feb 2001, Leigh Palmer wrote:
I will make an entirely different (and insincere) explanation. A
few people on this list believe in the corporeal reality of energy.
Technically, the energy change in a cup of water heated on the
stovetop is due to a process we describe as "heating", and the
energy change in the cup in the microwave oven is due to "working".
Your taste difference might be the first indication that a substance
called "heat energy" has a property different from "work energy". If
true, you are due for a Nobel Prize.


If Edison/Westinghouse devices never became widespread, then energy
transmission networks might currently be mechanical rather than
electrical. The "mechanicity" companies would send energy to your
mechanical stove at home, which would rub the bottom of your teapot in
order to boil the water...

But seriously folks, it would be interesting if the organization of
water's crystalline microstructure was affected by different heating
methods. The "Mpemba effect" (where hot water freezes faster than cold)
probably involves the degree of supercooling that water will support
before spontaneously freezing. If a recent history of heating can affect
later supercooling, maybe it can also affect how our taste receptors

If true, then not only would microwave-boiled water taste different than
water boiled on the stove, but one would freeze faster than the other.

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