Microwaves are a form of electromagnetic radiation; that is, they are waves of electrical and magnetic energy moving together through space. While microwaves are used in numerous applications, including detecting speeding cars, sending telephone and television communications, and drying plywood and curing rubber, the most common consumer use of microwave energy is in microwave ovens. Microwaves have the three following characteristics that allow them to be used in cooking:
- They are reflected by metal.
- They pass through glass, paper, plastic, and similar materials.
- They are absorbed by foods.
Microwaves are produced inside the oven by an electron tube called a magnetron. The microwaves are reflected within the metal interior of the oven and absorbed by food, causing the water molecules inside the food to vibrate, which produces the heat ...