The How microwave ovens works.


How do microwave ovens work?

Surprisingly, microwave ovens were invented by accident during the time of World War II, when Dr. Percy LeBaron Spencer, was trying to invent a machine that would produce radiation. The first microwave ovens stood at nearly six feet tall, were over 750 pounds and cost approximately $5,000. These kitchen appliances have come a long way since those times. They are now compact units, both small in measurement and light in weight and almost every home in America has one sitting on their countertop. But just how do these small appliances cook food at such a fast rate? And how can they cook the food that’s placed in them but not the container that holds the food?

Not surprisingly, a microwave oven uses microwaves to cook the food that’s placed in them. These microwaves are also known as radio waves. The frequency of radio waves found in a typical microwave oven is about 2,500 megahertz. Because of the frequency that these radio waves have, they are remarkably able to be absorbed by water, sugars, and fats. Once they are absorbed, they immediately transform into atomic motion, which is in the form of heat. However, these radio waves cannot be absorbed by materials such as plastic, glass, and ceramics. Any type of metal however, will rebound the waves to where they originally came from, which will not only not heat the food but it can also cause quiet a bit of damage.

Microwave ovens work extremely different than conventional ovens, not only because they use radio waves to cook food but also because a conventional oven’s heat cooks the outside of the food first and slowly makes it way inside. This is why the outside of food becomes crispy while the inside stays moist in a conventional oven. However, the radio waves in a microwave oven are absorbed simultaneously by the sugar, fat, and water particles within the food. When these are set into motion all at the same time, the entire piece of food is getting cooked at the same time and not from the inside out, as it’s so commonly believed. The parts of the food that are sometimes hotter than the rest of the food are because there are more of the sugars, fats, and water in that particular area. A microwave oven is moving atoms whereas a conventional oven is conducting heat.

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