Scientist Confirms that Salt Water can "Burn"

Sep 23, 2007

Salt water can indeed burn when exposed to a certain kind of radio wave, a university chemist has confirmed. Rustum Roy of Pennsylvania State University verified earlier this month that the radio waves break down the water into its constituent components, allowing the resulting freed hydrogen and oxygen to catch fire.

John Kanzius of Sanibel, Florida, first happened upon the phenomenon earlier this year when running experiments with a radio frequency generator he designed to help zap cancer cells.

When he trained the radio waves on a test tube of salt water, it produced an unexpected spark, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Curious, Kanzius and colleagues decided to ignite the water with a match. The water lit and kept burning as long as it remained in the radio frequency field.

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Courtesy of National Geographic