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Student Colloquium, Justus Matthies Eder: The Science of Microwave Ovens - From Electromagnetic Waves to Delicious Meals

[Translate to English:] Bake one potato in just four minutes. In an advertisement, the Amana company describes their microwave oven as “the greatest cooking discovery since fire”.

Info about event


Friday 21 April 2023,  at 13:15 - 14:00


Fys. Aud.

Supervisor: Jill Miwa

The microwave oven has been an integral part of one’s kitchen for decades and harnesses the principles of physics to competitively optimize food preparation time compared to other kitchen appliances. Since in everyday life every student of physics wants to use their time efficiently, some people resort to this miracle appliance which, according to some manufacturers, is even called the greatest cooking invention since fire!
For this reason, this colloquium explores the origins and science behind the microwave oven. The most important components, the magnetron, the waveguides and the dielectric properties of food are explained in detail and an explanation is given as to why most microwave ovens operate at a wave frequency of 2.45 GHz. At the end, an attempt is made to answer classic questions such as “is food from the microwave safe to eat” or “can microwaves get out of the oven?”