MYP Science One World Essay : Microwave Oven
Word Count : 1,325
Imagine what life was like before the microwave oven was created. Time would be wasted in reheating certain foods when using a stove to reheat. As it takes a long time to preheat a stove, which is what was used before the microwave oven to reheat food. Using a traditional stove also tends to create a more stressful environment when being used because of the heat that builds up in the area making it uncomfortable. This does not exist when using the microwave oven as it can be turned on and off without having to wait prior to using it. Living in the 21st century, time is very precious and should be used economically. The microwave oven is a great example on how time can be conserved. Let alone personal home use of the microwave oven, they are also used in multiple fast food industries to provide quality food within a reasonable time. The microwave oven has become essential in most households and has served to be as important as a mobile phone or an ATM (SMECC, n.d.).
The microwave energy used in the microwave oven to heat up the particles in the food. Microwaves are a type of electromagnetic waves that place between radio waves and microwaves on the electromagnetic spectrum. The longer the wavelengths, the lower the energy frequency. A typical microwave oven has a wave frequency of 2, 450 megahertz (M. Brian, 2000). Water, sugar and fats only absorb waves in this frequency range, which makes it perfect for food. So although microwaves have a lower frequency than visible light does, it is still able to heat up the particles in the food. This is because as there is usually water in the food you are reheating and water is a dipole, the oscillating microwaves cause the water dipoles to oscillate as well. When the water dipoles begin to oscillate, the particles in the food will begin to rub against each other, which causes it to heat as well. However this is only at a certain frequency range, which is why other electromagnetic waves with higher frequency such as visible light cannot heat up food. The microwaves are only able to do this when the water dipoles oscillate, so microwave ovens do not work unless the food contains water. So the longer the cooking time, the more the water dipoles oscillate, therefore heating it more.
The microwave will help to conserve time, as there is no preparation needed before you want to use it. Unlike an oven, which requires pre heating and uses more energy than a microwave oven. The microwave oven cooks the food in a very short amount of time, so the cost of cooking is lowered because less energy is used in the short process (Consumer Energy Center, n.d.). Microwave ovens are also multipurpose, as almost anything that contains water can be reheated, unless it is wrapped in thin metals. Unlike dedicated devices such as a toaster oven, the microwave oven is the whole package. Microwave ovens also do not affect the surrounding environment when using them, unlike gas ovens.
However tiny sharp pieces of metal or thin pieces of metal do not go well with the microwave oven. As the tiny pieces of metal or sharp pieces will act as a conductor for the current electricity to flow through and create a chance for them to spark a fire. The inside of a microwave oven is surrounded by metal (M. Brian, 2008), however the current will not be strong enough and end up reflecting the microwaves. This also means that if you were to put your food in a pot and put it in the microwave, the food will not get heated, as the pot will reflect the microwaves away, if thick enough. If it is not thick enough, then it may spark a fire. Either way, microwaves and metals do not go together very well because of their properties (metal being a conductor). Also, there is no control over how the food will be heated up, as when using a microwave.
Since the creation of the microwave oven, many have benefited, from the consumers to the companies. Franchises...
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