Physicist: No, Cell Phones Can't Pop Corn

Far-fetched YouTube videos smell like viral marketing campaign
By Laila Weir,  Newser User
Posted Jun 10, 2008 3:18 PM CDT

(Newser) – YouTube videos showing three people popping corn with their cell phones have taken the Internet by storm, but apparently aren’t for real, Wired reports: A physics professor says the feat just isn’t possible. Instead, the videos look like a viral marketing campaign. The phones seem to be the same make and model, and two YouTube users posted French, Japanese and two American versions.

The physicist said if cell phones worked like microwave ovens, which heat the water in popcorn kernels, your fingers would get hot every time you held one and “would hurt like crazy." And while it’s possible to heat with sound, he said the phones’ volume is too low. Editing tricks or a hidden heat source are probably behind the popping, he suggested.