A microwave oven works by generating electromagnetic waves called microwaves in a metal cavity. These microwaves are then absorbed by water, fats, and sugars in the food, which causes them to vibrate rapidly. These vibrations create thermal energy, known as heat, which then cooks the food.
Inside the microwave oven, there is a magnetron, which is a device that generates the microwaves. The magnetron converts electrical energy into high-powered microwaves. These microwaves are directed into the metal cavity, which is constructed of metal walls to contain and reflect the waves.
The microwaves bounce off the metal walls and the food placed inside the microwave. As they bounce, they penetrate the food and transfer their energy to the water molecules within. The water molecules then absorb this energy and start moving rapidly, causing heat to be produced.
The heat generated is distributed throughout the food by conduction, where the heated water molecules continually transfer their heat to neighboring molecules. The appliance also incorporates a rotating plate or turntable, which helps to evenly distribute the heat within the food.
The microwaves used in microwave ovens have a specific frequency of around 2.45 gigahertz, which enables them to be efficiently absorbed by water molecules. However, materials such as metal or certain plastics do not absorb microwaves effectively and can cause arcing or damage to the oven.
The microwave oven is equipped with a control panel that allows users to set the desired cooking time and power level. It also has safety features, like a door latch and a timer that automatically shuts off the microwaves when the set time is completed.
Overall, a microwave oven works by generating microwaves that are absorbed by water molecules in the food, causing them to vibrate and generate heat. This heat then cooks the food quickly and efficiently.