Conditions of Use
Have you ever wondered why the microwave is called the microwave? Actually, the correct term is microwave oven, but no one uses that. These ovens use microwaves, a part of the electromagnetic spectrum, to heat whatever is put into them. Just think, one generation ago you had to heat your gas or electric oven every time you wanted to eat leftovers. Today, almost every home in America has a microwave.
Microwaves are found in the electromagnetic spectrum between infrared rays and radio waves. Microwaves have a stronger energy content that radio waves but a weaker energy content than infrared waves. Microwaves have the second lowest energy capacity next to radio waves. That means microwaves don’t have a lot of energy compared to most of the other waves in the electromagnetic spectrum. Even though microwaves might not have really high energy content, they heat food very well.
The molecules in the food absorb the energy of the microwaves which causes them to vibrate or move faster. This faster motion produces heat. For most foods the microwaves heat the water molecules within the food. Microwaves are also very good at heating fat which is why fried or fatty foods heat quickly. Dry foods do not heat well at all.
Microwaves are used for more than just heating food. Long microwaves are used for transmitting information from one place to another. Shorter wavelength microwaves are used for radars. The long microwaves are good for transmitting information because they can penetrate haze, light rain, snow, clouds, and smoke. Shorter microwaves are good for radars, like the Doppler radar used in weather forecasts.
Microwaves are very convenient. Instead of turning on the stove and warming the food for a long time, the microwave will just do it in minutes. Microwaves are also good because without them we wouldn’t be able to transmit information easily from place to place. Without microwaves we wouldn’t be able to have an accurate weather forecast. Microwaves are very useful things.
"Microwaves." Wikipedia. en.wikipedia.org, 2009. Web. 11 Mar. 2010.
Microwaves." National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Science.hq.nasa, 2007. Web. 5 Mar. 2010
Article posted March 16, 2010 at 08:19 PM •
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