Why does popcorn pop?

I was making some popcorn the other day and it got me thinking, what happens to the kernels when we heat them in a microwave?

So I took a video and attached it so you guys can see what I saw..

After watching the video, what do you think really happens to a popcorn kernel when heated in a microwave?

Please choose one of the four answers available.

2 People tried to answer this question

The starch that is in thekernelis liquid in room temperature. When heated, the liquid starch changes its state, from liquid to solid leading tothe expansion of the starch andbreaking the outer shellof thekernel.

The radiation emitted from the microwave causes mutations in the DNA of the popcornkernel, leading toa dramatic change in the size ofthekerneland breaking the outer shell.

The starch which is in thekernelinteracts with the water in it, creating a new material which is the whiteshape we see after thekernelhas popped. The new material is larger than the liquid starch that was in thekernel,which leadsto the breaking of the outer shell.

When heated, the moisture in thekernelturns into steam and the starch turns into a gel-like substance.They both expandin thekernel, building up pressure and eventually breaking the outer shell.


1.  Hajouj khawla (2009-12-20 15:00:00)
about your question

Hey Nardine,

your question is related to everyday life,  but it's require a high order thinking.

By the way writing is very little I advance you to increase it and should the question it's self  be bolded.

2.  Hajouj khawla (2009-12-20 15:00:00)
about your question

I don't see your point on map.

3.  Karayanni Nardine (2009-12-20 15:00:00)
Thank you
Hey khawla,

Thank you for your comment. 

4.  Hajouj khawla (2014-12-20 15:00:00)
about you question

the video you attached very relevant to the question. 


5.  ben simon haya (2014-12-20 15:00:00)
My comment
An interesting question that is very relevant to everyday life. I really like your video, which is directly related to the question and contributes greatly to the understanding . Watching the process splitting of kernels is an opportunity to look closely at a phenomenon we don`t spend a lot of time thinking about its existence .

Also, the point on the map that you specified related directly to the subject and the question. The slow motion video contributes significantly to the understanding of the subject, and can help answering the question.


It is not clear to me which topic in the curriculum the question belongs to. How can a student know the answer? Only from watching videos , it is very difficult to answer the question .

6.  Karayanni Nardine (2015-12-20 15:00:00)
Hey Haya,

Thank you for your comment.
Regarding the question, it is related to the topic "changes in matter" in eighth grade's curriculum. In the topic they learn about changes which happen in a chemical process; changes in the reactants, changes in the energy, etc...

Good luck,

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