Physics

Alternative uses of Microwaves



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Microwaves are common in every home, and are used to cook or defrost all manner of foods. But there are actually a lot more things that they can do for us, which most people don't seem to know about. For example because of the way the heating process works in microwaves, by heating mater molecules while leaving everything else alone. Microwaves are ideal for sterilizing all manner of things and for helping to kill germs.

One thing I often use a microwave for is for quickly warming and drying clothes after I come in out of the cold. For example a microwave can dry items such as socks in under a minute, and leave then warm and cozy for when you put them back on. The same can be said for winter gloves that have been in the snow and even shoes and boots. Provided they will fit and don't have any metal parts on them, otherwise you will probably just blow up both your shoes and your microwave.

Boiling water quickly and defrosting ice cream are another couple of uses that many people overlook. Boiling water can actually be a lot faster in a microwave than heating the water in a kettle or on a stove, and can be used for cooking many different types of food such as pasta. And defrosting ice cream for a few seconds before you have some can make it a lot easier to scoop if it has been frozen solid in the freezer for long periods of time.

Another thing that microwaves can be used for is for killing germs on washing up sponges and cloth. Unlike antibacterial dish soap, which tends to leave at least some germs on the surface and inside of the materials, heating them in a microwave will cause every one of them to be killed. The reason being that it causes the water molecules inside them to actually boil and burst, in effect tearing them apart from the inside. Which I think is a fitting way for killing germs and viruses which could potentially harm us.

Melting soaps and candles for reshaping is another thing a microwave can do very well as well. The best way being to place them in a microwave safe container first so that all the wax or soap is collected. You can then re-mould this into a different shape and leave it to cool to make it set hard. The thing to remember is that a lot of smaller candles have a metal disc on the bottom of them to hold the wick in place, which obviously needs to be removed before any heating takes place.

Another use that a few people have used a microwave for is to build a small Nuclear reactor in your won home. Obviously this isn't very easy, and if you wanted to try this it would be at your own risk, but it is possible to achieve. There was a child genius recently in Britain who actually completed a fully working reactor until the police confiscated it from him for safety purposes. For people not familiar in nuclear physics though, this is extremely dangerous and may result in death by radiation poisoning, which isn't a nice way to go at all.

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