Talk about cool chemistry, in this experiment you can see the affect of microwaves, it is super exciting!
A bar of Ivory soap
Paper or ceramic plate
1) unwrap the soap and place it in the center of the plate
2) set the plate in the microwave and set the time to 2 minutes
3) Press start and let the time tun out
4) Once the microwave stops, CAREFULLY remove the plate from the oven and allow to cool for about 2 minutes until it is cool enough to handle the soap.
5) hold the soap in your hand, how does it feel?
The microwave heats the soap causing it to soften. The microwaves then excite the water and air molecules in the soap. This causes the soap to lose its shape and expand as the molecules try to move in opposite directions from eachother. Evaporation of the water causes more air pockets. Since the soap has softened, and the molecules have moved away from eachother and caused air pockets, the result is a foam like substance.
Remember there are 3 forms of matter: solid, liquid and gas. In a gas the molecules are very far apart, very rarely do they interact with each other, there are no bonds holding them together. In a liquid, some of the molecules are bound, some are not. In a solid, all the molecules are tightly bound together. In this experiment we are changing the state of matter from a tightly bonded solid to a more pliable liquids material.