How Does a Microwave Work

Microwave Ovens Are Used Worldwide

Microwave oven…What to say about it, when practically everybody has it, is using it, and/or has used it before. Let’s try to find something we don’t know. How does a microwave work? Microwave oven is used every day in various places and situations, mostly because it can turn a frozen steak, or popcorn into a meal, in a very short time.

The idea to microwave the food came up accidentally in 1945, when Percy Spencer, American engineer had his chocolate bar melted while working on active radar set. Radar? Well, yes, the microwave oven uses waves that are something between radio and infrared frequencies, running at approximately 2.45 GHz but in America we can find the ones that work at 915 MHz, too.

How Does a Microwave Oven Work?

What happens to the food? Interestingly, the waves produced by microwave oven only affect the food, and not the glass, plastics, wood, ceramics or other food containers. That is the reason why you and everyone else just grab the pop-corns out of there with your bare hands, even though they are hot. Unfortunately, the metal reflects the radio waves, and metal objects are not something you want to put in the microwave.

The waves go through the food and they get absorbed. This process is called dielectric heating, which in turn rotates the molecules in the food, making them generate heat that is than sent to surrounding molecules, making it seem like the food is cooked from the inside out.

Now, the microwave oven is using Faraday’s cage so the bad waves can’t get out, making the glass the most insecure place on the oven, which is why it’s recommended to be at 20 inches from the oven when it’s baking. However, none of the studies has proved that this could cause cancer, even if the people were exposed to microwaves radiation for longer periods. You should not worry too much about this, because the Wireless Networks are using the same frequency and they are covering big parts of the world for some time now.

Next time you eat something from the microwave oven, remember that you have your meal ready so fast, just because Percy had his chocolate bar melted.

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