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Microwave oven

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Microwave oven

A microwave oven (commonly called a microwave) is a machine that cooks food using microwaves, a type of radio wave. The idea was invented when a scientist who was experimenting with radio waves saw his chocolate bar, which he was holding at that time, melt. He then knew that radio waves could cook food and invented the microwave oven.

How to use a microwave

Food is placed inside the oven, and buttons on the screen are pressed to set how long the food should be cooked. A microwave oven is one of the fastest ways of cooking.

How it works

The microwave oven uses a magnetron. This is similar to a radio transmitter. It makes very short radio waves which go right into the food to a depth of about 2.5cm. This makes water molecules swing to and from at about 2.5 billion times a second. This heats up the molecules around it. As they heat up the heat goes to the inside of the food. This process is called conduction. This also happens in a normal oven, but the energy goes deeper so that the food cooks much faster. In an ordinary oven the energy stays mostly near the surface[1]


  1. "Teaching the world to ping", The Independent, Thursday 12 May 2011; Viewspaper p.16

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