The Microwaves have slowly warmed their way into our hearts as a mundane convenience for our everyday meals. Little do we know that once upon a time such a convenience was non-existent. Indeed, until 1946, almost a century since the idea of electromagnetic waves first took hold, microwaves were yet to manifest. So as we heat our water, or make some popcorns today, let us give a few minutes of our time in tribute to this multipurpose creation by reading some fun facts about microwaves that you really should know.
Image credit: Green prophet
10. The theory surrounding microwaves began in 1864
Image credit: Chat Afrik
One of the most fascinating fun facts about microwaves is that they originated in 1864 with James Maxwell Clark’s theory that magnetic field and light could combine to travel at the speed of light. This simple theory, which was eventually proven to be true, marked the earliest beginnings of electromagnetic waves.
9. The actual microwave was created by accident
Image credit: Economy Decoded
Percy Spencer, a Raytheon engineer discovered the microwave when working with magnetron, a vacuum tube. Magnetron was used in the detection of aircraft and ships by radar equipment. Whilst working with magnetron, Percy realized that its radiation melted his candy bar. Further experimentation showed that it could popcorn and cook eggs rapidly. He then developed a box within which to contain this energy and Raytheon Corporation produced the first microwave in the next year.
8. In 1946 the first microwave was created
Image credit: Elite Readers
The first microwave was created in 1946 and it had some pretty interesting features. One of the earliest microwaves fun facts was that it was cooled by water and was only sold to large commercial food companies and restaurants. The latter was in place as the earliest Raytheon produced microwaves was pegged at an astonishing $5000, then.
7. It took 8 years for microwaves to be cooled by air
Image credit: Alibaba
Another of the astonishing fun facts about microwaves are that despite the rapid advancements in technology during the post-World War II era microwaves took an astonishing 8 years to be cooled by air. This occurred in 1954. Also thanks to competition with many companies entering the microwave production business, microwaves began to sell for between $2000 and $3000. Despite this microwaves were still yet to be adapted for home use.
6. Tappan developed the first home-use microwave
Image credit: Wired
The genesis of how microwaves entered home use certainly should be amongst the microwave fun facts. In 1952 microwaves finally entered home use thanks to Tappan. However, these machines were still extremely huge – about the same size as a cooking range today. Sadly, for no greater reason than the expensive price tag of about $1300, this microwave faired poorly. It wasn’t until 1964 that the first commercially viable microwave came into existence.
5. Today microwaves are used more outside the home
Image credit: Youtube
Today the technology used in microwaves is also employed in sending messages by cellphones, drying and curing plywood, treatment of muscle soreness, television broadcasting, detecting speeding motorcycles and cars, and curing rubber and resins.
4. You cannot heat oil in a microwave
Image credit: Ali Express
If you thought you could handle almost anything with microwaves fun facts have shown that not to be true. Here are some fun facts about microwaves. Microwaves work by generating an increase thermal energy causing the vibration of molecules. This affects can affect the molecules in water but not oil even though oil does contain a bit of water.
3. Metal can reflect the radioactive waves in a microwave
Image credit: Harada
One of our most interesting microwaves fun facts is an explanation for why aluminum foil sometimes creates sparks in the microwave. The reason is that metal acts like an antenna inside the microwave so the waves arc off the antenna creating sparks.
2. Microwave technology is employed by NASA
Image credit: MWRF
NASA uses microwave technology in deep space technology. This also applies to all other space agencies across the globe. The reason behind this is one of our fun facts about microwaves. The contracted focused frequency band of the microwave is capable of penetrating Earth’s atmosphere and travels through space in a straight line. Hence, irrespective of the long distance between earth and outer space, communication remains clear.
1. Microwaves are safe to use
Image credit: Women on the fence
We were doubtful as to which of our fun facts about microwaves we should list as number one but we decided on this for one simple reason. Numerous claims have surfaced about the unsafe nature of microwaves. Yes, microwaves do release radiation which, in large doses, can be harmful. In the case of microwaves, the FDA regulates their radiation making microwaves extremely safe to use. People do not fall sick from microwaves because once the food has absorbed the waves the waves turn to heat.
Our work is done. Here are our top 10 microwave fun facts to think about as you heat up some corn for a few hours of Netflix. What do you think?