"Introduction of the Microwave"

Essay by gepetoHigh School, 10th gradeA-, April 2003

download word file, 3 pages 5.0

Looking at the world we live in today, many things that we have or use are taken for granted. We don't think much about how a telephone works when we're talking to our friends, or how emails and faxes can travel from one unit to another within a blink of an eye. When we go inside our homes and turn on our TV's, do we ever wonder how the human mind could ever comprehend radio waves and electromagnetic energy? How were these things invented? How did anyone get the first ideas to experiment? After all, complex things such as computers, televisions, and microwaves had to have had a great impact on society. And so did simpler things, such as bar codes, plastic, and Velcro.

By 1976, over 60% of U.S. households were using microwaves, just 30 years after its first invention. Today, microwaves are used all around the world, resulting in fresher food, less waste, and money saved.

But how did the microwave get started? Who invented them and how did the inventor make such an astounding discovery? Because of this revolutionary new invention, Americans will never be the same in the ways of "old-fashioned" cooking.

In 1946, Dr. Percy Spencer noticed something very unusual. As an engineer with the Raytheon Corporation, he was testing a new vacuum tube called a magnetron, (which was also used the previous year in the making of the first electronic computer). During his experimenting, a candy bar in his pocket suddenly began to melt for no apparent reason. This surprised Spencer and sparked an odd curiosity in him. He went off and got some popcorn kernels, bringing them back and laying them in front of the tube. And oddly enough, the popcorn popped all over his lab. Now the experimenting began.

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