Laser popcorn - sorta

I was in a conversation and one thing led to another, and “I wonder if you can pop corn with a laser?” No “hold my beer involved.”

I can obliterate, or write my name, but not pop it.


Try it with the lens out of focus so you get a wide beam and a more evenly dispersed heat affected zone, (following) :grin: you can do this, just ask yourself who has the brains here, you or the popcorn


I did. I had a cone larger than the kernel and tried high and low power. Maybe I’ll try with it covered in butter or oil.

Cool idea. What wattage is your laser? I have a 100 watt, so if that’s what you did, I won’t try! LOL

The whole idea is to pressurize the water trapped inside the kernel. you can’t pop it while letting steam escape.

I’m surprised nobody has made a Real Genius reference. :slight_smile:

Someone is going to do a dissertation on this and earn an IgNobel I am sure…

I tried a light coating of canola oil, a small ziplock opened just a little bit, and defocused as far as I could (about 1" circle). 20% power, which took forever to show a mark on toilet paper, and the plastic started to melt. No popcorn.

I’ve seen it done by spinning the kernel while lasing it.

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