Today, in things you should never, ever try at home: playing with dismantled microwave oven parts.
Meet Pavel Pavlov and Aleksandr Kryukov, a dynamic duo of tinker thinkers hailing from Luhansk, Ukraine. Otherwise known as YouTube sensation Kreosan, the pair aims to explain physical phenomena through low-budget, back-alley science experiments that are as dangerous as they are awesome.”There’s no one like us,” Pavlov told The New York Times. “Because we have no money, we create our experiments from nothing.”
Many thought the pair would stop after their hometown was seized by separatists and shelled in the war between the Ukrainian Army and the rebel Luhansk People’s Republic, but Pavlov and Kryokov haven’t showed any signs of slowing down. Not even a bomb falling mid-shoot stopped them from uploading to their channel.
“We just want to keep doing experiments,” adds Kryukov. “Before they were dreams. Now they are real. We show our viewers what life is like in Luhansk. How we live, and work, and film here. We’re not afraid of explosions, we’re used to it by now. You could even say we find them interesting, and now we try to explain the processes for people who don’t know.”
The experiment above, for example, uses a magnetron, the device that generates the microwaves inside of a microwave oven, to show the effects of microwave radiation on various objects. By attaching the magnetron to a coffee can, Pavlov and Kryukov were able to create a directional antenna, essentially turning the device into an electromagnetic death ray that can power lightbulbs, blow up stereos, and boil eggs.
So how does it work? A magnetron is essentially a high-powered vacuum tube containing a filament that heats up when energy is pumped through the device. As the filament warms, negatively charged electrons “boil” off of the hot center, and move out towards a positively charged anode around it. Now usually, the electrons would just zing across to the anode and nothing much would happen, but because the magnetron also includes a (wait for it) magnet, the electrons are turned as they move, causing them to whirl around the filament in quick circles. Special veins in the anode are designed to transform this merry-go-round of electrons into microwaves.
“It’s sort of like when someone is on a swing, and you want them to move faster, so you push them at just the right time to get them going how you want,” explains engineer Rudy Dehn. “The electrons go by these veins at a time such that they can kick the next electron inside the anode to build up voltage. This creates the wave energy.”
For any of you who would like to take your best shot at winning a Darwin Award by creating your own version of the magnetron gun, Pavlov and Kryukov have created an instructional video for your viewing pleasure. Just remember, whatever it can do to eggs, it can also do to your eyes.