The Bottom Line: Some cool facts about microwaves!
The Full Story:
- The first microwave oven that was made by Raytheon was 6 feet tall and weighed at least 750 pounds. Most people did not buy them because they cost about $5000.
- By 1967 microwave ovens had come down in price and in size. They were approximately $495, but this was still expensive. At least they could fit on a counter top thanks to redesigning and improvements in technology.
- The first commercial microwave oven was created in 1946, and by the mid-1990s 90% of the homes in the United States owned one.
- Although microwaves emit radiation (as Dr. Spencer discovered when his chocolate bar melted in his pocket), it is not dangerous or cancer-causing because the microwaves are non-ionizing. You won't get cancer from your microwave, unlike the potential from x-rays.
- Most people believe that microwaves cook from the inside out. This is not true. Similar to the way other types of heat cook food, microwaves cook from the outside inward.
- When a microwave is running there are microwaves being absorbed by the food or liquid. If there is nothing in the microwave, the waves reflect between the cooking chamber and the tube, and will burn the magnetron out. Microwave cooking requires some water in the food in order to work.
- Watching food cook in a microwave is not dangerous as some believe. The mesh in the glass window stops the microwaves from reaching you, and only light is able to pass through to your eyes.
- The microwave was designed to use a magnetron to create the microwaves that cook or heat food or liquid.
- NASA uses microwave technology for communication in deep space.
- The first microwaves were cooled by water but they were later changed to be cooled by air.
- The type of radiation that is used in microwave ovens is also used in speed cameras used by police, radar, and cell phones.
- Microwaves are also used for broadcasting television, treating muscle aches and pains, curing rubber, making bread rise, and curing plywood. S
- ome scientists and researchers believe that cooking food in a microwave changes it to the point that it becomes carcinogenic (cancer causing) in some cases.
- Some believe that by cooking food with microwaves, nutrients such as vitamins and minerals are decreased or even destroyed.
- The microwave inventor Dr. Percy Spencer lived to 76 with no apparent health consequences from working around microwaves for much of his adult life.