Tech In Plain Sight: Microwave Ovens

Screenshot 2023 09 27 at 6 02 11 PM

Its good to take a minute or two and think about the tech all around us that we take for granted. Al Williams over on Hackaday did just that with the Microwave. Fun read, even if you think you know you are bound to learn something!

However, when we see our microwave, we think about two things: 1) this thing is one of the most dangerous things in our house and 2) what makes that little turntable flip a different direction every time you run the thing?

People think that Raytheon engineer Percy Spenser, the chief of their power tube division, noticed that while working with a magnetron he found his candy bar had melted. This is, apparently, true, but Spenser wasn’t the first to notice. He was, however, the first to investigate it and legend holds that he popped popcorn and blew up an egg on a colleague’s face (this sounds like an urban legend about “egg on your face” to us). The Raytheon patent goes back to 1945.

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