@Philip Wood says that microwaves cook food through because of water- https://physics.stackexchange.com/a/426958/147307
I know that microwaves excite water, and I know form experience that radiative heat transfer can leave food burnt on the outside and frozen on the inside. But I never really thought about why different EM radiation behaves differently with different materials. If I used infrared radiation to heat water (and somehow "disabled" conductive/convective heat transfer) could I have an ice cube surrounded by boiling water?
Is there a material property that can be used to predict what wavelengths will be absorbed, reflected, or pass right through?
Does visible light pass around air and water molecules, or does it pass through them?