How Does a Microwave Work?

It’s one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century. Millions of people around the world own them and most people use them everyday. What am I speaking about? The microwave, of course! In today’s society people live extremely busy lifestyles, making the microwave oven an extremely popular household appliance. What the oven takes hours to do, the microwave does in minutes. But how does it do it? If you have ever wondered how the microwave actually works than you have come to the right place. Throughout this article we will discuss what microwaves are as well as how they cook our food. By the end of the article you will have a much better understanding of how our most valuable appliance actually works!

We all know what the microwave oven is and the majority of us use it in our everyday lives. Microwaves are a great addition to any household because they cook foods up to six times quicker than the regular oven and thus help to make our hectic lives a little less hectic. How do they work so quickly? As the name states, microwave ovens use microwaves to heat food. What are microwaves? Microwaves are radio waves that are approximately 2, 500 megahertz and which can be absorbed by water, fats, and sugars. Luckily, these radio waves are not absorbed by other things such as plastics, ceramics, or glass, allowing us to safely place them into the oven without any safety hazards.

How does the microwave oven create microwaves, or radio waves? Inside the microwave oven there is a generator, called a magnetron, that creates microwaves using magnetic energy. Once the microwave is turned on, the magnetron takes the electricity from the power outlet and converts it into microwaves. These microwaves are then transferred into the compartment where the food is kept. Once the microwaves are in the food compartment they penetrate the food. Inside the food, the microwaves make the food molecules vibrate quickly. The faster the molecules vibrate, the hotter the food becomes. Thus, the quick vibration of the microwaves allows food to be heated much quicker than in the regular oven.

One concern of most people using microwaves is the effects of radiation. It is important to understand that eating food that has been heated using radiation is completely safe. All heat is radiation, and thus, even when cooking in a regular oven, you are cooking with radiation. People also worry about leakage of radiation from the microwave. However, if there were to be a radiation leak, it would be minimal and would not put anyone at risk. Thus, despite widespread fears of radiation, the microwave is generally considered to be a very safe way of heating foods.

So there you have it! In summary, the microwave oven uses radio waves to penetrate food and vibrate molecules within the food, making it heat up much quicker than it would in the regular oven. Now that you know how your favourite appliance works you can share all of your new knowledge with your friends and family!