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Cavity magnetron




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Magnetron with section removed (magnet is not shown)
Complete microwave oven magnetron, with magnet and heatsink

The cavity magnetron is a high-powered vacuum tube that makes microwaves using the interaction of a stream of electrons with a magnetic field. Electrons pass by holes (cavities), and the resonance creates microwaves, like blowing air on a flute creates sound (sound waves) of a certain pitch[1]. The 'resonant' cavity magnetron type of the earlier magnetron tube was invented by John Randall and Harry Boot in 1940.[2] The high power of pulses from the cavity magnetron made centimetre-band radar practical. Shorter wavelength radars allowed the finding of smaller objects. The small cavity magnetron tube made the size of radar sets much smaller[3] so that they could be put into in aircraft[4] and ships used to find submarines.[3] At present, cavity magnetrons are commonly used in microwave ovens and in various radar applications.[5]

References

  1. "How do magnetrons work?". http://www.explainthatstuff.com/how-magnetrons-work.html. 
  2. "The Magnetron". Bournemouth University. 1995-2009. http://histru.bournemouth.ac.uk/Oral_History/Talking_About_Technology/radar_research/the_magnetron.html. Retrieved 23 August 2009. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Schroter, B. (Spring 2008). "How important was Tizard’s Box of Tricks?". Imperial Engineer 8: 10. http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/pls/portallive/docs/1/44009701.PDF. Retrieved 2009-08-23. 
  4. "Who Was Alan Dower Blumlein?". Dora Media Productions. 1999-2007. http://www.doramusic.com/Who%20Was%20Blumlein.htm. Retrieved 23 August 2009. 
  5. Ma, L. "3D Computer Modeling of Magnetrons." University of London Ph.D. Thesis. December 2004. Accessed 2009-08-23.