What are Microwaves?

By: Nickolas Park | P1

How Does a Microwave Work?

There is a common misconception that the microwave just produces heat through electricity or gas. Although this is true for items such as an oven, the microwave works in a different way. In order to heat the items you put in, the microwave uses electromagnetic radiation in order to heat your items. Going more in depth, the microwave uses literal microwaves that bounce around the microwave and slowly heat whatever you put in. While the microwaves continue to reflect off the metal surfaces of the microwave, the ones that approach the food inside get absorbed. However, the microwaves don't heat food themselves. They cause the water molecules inside the food to start vibrating which produces heat, making the water in the food the real cause of all the heat being produced for the food. The moment you open the microwave door, all of the microwaves disappear since they are a form of electromagnetic waves. Microwaves are truly fascinating, but more and more questions pop up about the microwave every single day. Click Me!

Are Microwaves Safe to Use?

Since microwaves do use a type of radiation in order to heat the food, many people are worried about if it safe to use or not. There is no reason to worry because the microwave uses non-ionizing radiation, where almost all types of radiation in this category are safe. The only exception are the UV rays from the sun, and this is the only type of non-ionizing radiation that can give you cancer. You also don't need to worry about the radiation leaking from the microwave, since the cover of the microwave usually has a protective screen with many tiny holes to stop it from leaking. However, this doesn't mean you should constantly sit right in front of a microwave. Some of the microwaves will manage to leak, and constant exposure to these waves will come up with symptoms that you would not like to have. Click Me!

Where Did the Microwave Come From?

The microwave was first found by an American engineer named Percy Spencer. As ridiculous as it sounds, he had accidentally invented the microwave while testing out with a military-grade magnetron. According to his grandson, "Gramps was loud, wanted to make everything happen at all times." He at first didn't have much schooling at all, and lived in the days where electricity and technology was quite rare to see. However, he didn't let this stop himself, and he decided to join the navy after seeing the Titanic's radio operators. He joined the American Appliance Company, now commonly known as the Raytheon Manufacturing Company which is responsible for making missiles, military training systems, and electronic warfare. Spencer was one of the most gifted engineers at the complex by far, and the boss could see the potential in him. Almost any problem that came up, Raytheon knew he had to call for Spencer in order to fix it. One fateful day where he was working with a magnetron, he came out for a break and realized the granola bar in his pocket had melted. He continued to test the magnetron's power, testing with an egg and then corn kernels. The egg had exploded in a couple of seconds and the corn kernels had turned into popcorn. Thus, the microwave was born. Click Me!