If water is subjected to microwave energy at the water's exact resonant frequency but 90 degrees out of phase, would the water molecule cease vibrating? Would the water then freeze or be cooled at least?

  • $\begingroup$ Not sure about the question, but a MASER is a coherent source of microwaves, actually built and working before the laser, so a concept which can be tested experimentally. Back in 5 mins. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 22:54
  • $\begingroup$ Various technologies of maser, and now infra red and sub millimetre types available. Little on maser experiments apart from: books.google.co.uk/… $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 23:00
  • $\begingroup$ What do you mean by 90 degrees out of phase? Out of phase compared to what? A resonant frequency is simply a value. You must have a specific reference oscillator in order to define a phase difference for some other oscillator. $\endgroup$
    – Bill N
    Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 3:41
  • $\begingroup$ related question here physics.stackexchange.com/questions/169173/… $\endgroup$
    – anna v
    Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 7:56

1 Answer 1


Note that water molecules don't typically exist in isolation, and as they interact with other molecules their phase will change randomly.

While in principle it might be possible to extract a little bit of energy, sometimes, from an individual molecule if you hit it just right, in practice you can't do that on an ensemble of molecules.

  • $\begingroup$ I was going for the "in principal" I guess. I thought by slowing or stopping the vibration of the molecule by exposing it to RF vibration out of phase the water would become solid or freeze. Similar to noise canceling circuits in electronics. More than likely a ridiculous idea anyway. $\endgroup$
    – Ru Ko
    Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 16:30
  • $\begingroup$ To freeze you need more than one molecule... $\endgroup$
    – Floris
    Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 17:55
  • $\begingroup$ I was talking about all the molecules exposed to the RF of course. I will specify the number. How about 6.022 times 10 to the 23 power molecules. This is approximately the number of molecules in a liter of water. $\endgroup$
    – Ru Ko
    Commented Mar 19, 2016 at 19:30
  • $\begingroup$ Avogadro's number is one mole or 18 milliliter of water... $\endgroup$
    – Floris
    Commented Mar 19, 2016 at 19:39
  • $\begingroup$ OK if you say so. $\endgroup$
    – Ru Ko
    Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 3:33

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