Trivia

Hard

The Microwave Oven Was Invented As An Accidental Offshoot Of What Technology?

Radar
Rocketry
Deep Space Communication
Lasers
An antenna for the new WSR-57 weather radars, the first of which was to be installed in Miami.
NOAA Photo Library/Wikimedia

Answer: Radar

Although now ubiquitous, the microwave oven was once an expensive curiosity that was discovered entirely by accident. In 1945, Percy Spencer, an American engineer, was working on an active radar set and stumbled upon the food-heating properties of microwave radiation. In the course of working on the machine, he noticed that the Mr. Goodbar chocolate bar in his pocket had started melting in an unusual fashion.

He conducted further investigation with other food stuffs. The first food ever purposely cooked by microwave radiation was, fittingly enough, popcorn. He followed the popcorn with an egg, which exploded rather dramatically as it was heated from the inside out. After the initial experiments, he built a metal box to serve as a Faraday cage for the radiation and fed microwave power from a magnetron into the box. Food placed inside the metal box rose rapidly in temperature, confirming his hypothesis.

The first commercial microwave ovens were introduced in 1947. Dubbed the “Radarange”, they were almost six feet tall, weighed 750 pounds, pulled down three kilowatts of power, and retailed for $5,000 (roughly $58,000 in today’s money). Thankfully, in the intervening decades, prices and sizes have plummeted and a more effective microwave oven can be had for a fraction of the cost.

Trivia

Hard

Exposure To What Made Hat Makers In The 19th Century “Mad Hatters”?

Trivia

Easy

Who Holds The Record For Most Time Spent In Space?

Trivia

Hard

The Only Planet In Our Solar System With An Indeterminate Number Of Moons Is?

Trivia

Easy

The Nickname For The Process Of Transferring Data Without A Network Is?

Trivia

Easy

Which Comedy Group Can We Thank For the Naming Origin Of Spam Email?

Trivia

Hard

An Accidental Spill Of What Has Led To A 30 Year Oceanographic Study?

Trivia

Hard

The Experience Of Transitioning Between Wakefulness And Sleep Is Called?

Trivia

Hard

Which First Lady Started The White House Tradition Of Themed Christmas Trees?

Trivia

Very Hard

The Animal With The Largest Tested Working Memory Is A?

Trivia

Hard

Who Was The First Woman In Space?