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 Where did the Microwave Oven come from?

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PostSubject: Where did the Microwave Oven come from?   Thu Feb 26 2009, 13:38


Where did the Microwave Oven come from?

Nuke it!

In 1946, Dr. Percy Spencer, an engineer for the Raytheon Company, pulled the idea for the microwave oven right out of his pocket.

An invention of Raytheon Company scientists Sir John Randall and Dr. H.A. Boot, the magnetron, provided Dr. Spencer with both the most critical component of the microwave oven, and created the accident, which led to its discovery.

The magnetron the two Birmingham University scientists were charged with inventing during World War II, provided the Allies with the means to pinpoint the exact locations of Nazi war machines and arsenals, as the magnetron produced microwaves which radar then bounced off of these weapons of destruction, and back to the Allies.

Testing using the magnetron continued in the post-war years, and Dr. Spencer, in the midst of performing one of these tests, made a logical connection, which gave birth to the microwave oven. While performing such a test, Doc Spencer had a hankering for the chocolate bar he had stashed in his pocket. He eagerly reached into his pocket, only to discover chocolate sauce. Percy reasoned that the culprit responsible for the melted mass of chocolate was not his body heat, but his proximity to the heat-producing magnetron.

In true scientific fashion, Dr. Spencer decided to put his theory to the test, and sent for a bag of unpopped corn. He placed the corn in front of the magnetron tube and watched as the kernels popped into the air, and rained down upon the floor. Still dissatisfied with the amount of data he had collected, the good doctor decided to perform one more test to solidify his theory. To add more drama to his next act, he chose to cook an egg, which, when placed in front of the magnetron tube, summarily blew up in the face of an on-looking colleague.

Raytheon deemed these data conclusive, and launched an effort to produce the first microwave oven. The mammoth microwave oven they created bore the name Radar Range, in honor of the magnetron's service to this country during wartime. Sales of the large appliance in the 1940s were virtually nil, with the exception of sales to the military and to restaurants.

In 1952, Tappan introduced a home use model, selling at a mere $1295.00, and sales of microwaves increased. Today, the compact versions of the original Radar Range, carrying much lower price tags, are standard in most homes, and almost everyone can afford to enjoy microwave popcorn from a bag, not from off of the floor!

DID YOU KNOW?
Ants can survive being "nuked" in a microwave? Microwave ovens have patterns of standing waves, with hot, very high-density areas, and cold, very low-density areas. Ants in the oven seek out the cold areas, and dodge the hot ones. If they run into a high-density area, they will survive, because their high surface area to volume ratio cools them more quickly than the ratio of large objects, and buys them enough time to locate a cold spot.

Source: coolquiz.com
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