How Everything Works
How Everything Works How Everything Works

Question 583

If you microwaved bean plant seeds over a period of weeks while they were growing, would they grow faster or longer, and if they would, would that be due to the heat or some effect of the microwave radiation? - DS
Microwaving the bean plant seeds would be no different from heating them, except that the distribution of temperatures in the seeds and soil might be a little different from what you would get if you simply used a space heater. The particles or photons of ultraviolet light, X-rays, or gamma rays have enough energy to cause chemical changes in organic molecules and can induce mutations in living organisms. However, the photons of microwaves have so little energy that all they can do is heat living things. The most likely result of microwaving the bean plant seeds will be that the seeds will overheat and won't grow at all. You'll have bean stew.

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