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Exploring the Science Behind Microwaving Food

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For 10 years, I lived happily without a microwave. However, after acquiring one when I moved house last year, I have come to appreciate the usefulness of this gadget. What surprised me was how much of what I thought I knew about microwaves was actually incorrect.

Microwave ovens operate using electromagnetic waves known as microwaves, which have wavelengths of approximately 12 centimeters. These waves are longer than visible light but shorter than most radio waves. By creating an oscillating magnetic field, microwaves cause certain molecules, such as water molecules, to spin. These molecules have both positively and negatively charged portions. Consequently, the spinning motion creates heat, heating up the food placed in the microwave.

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