Amazing Examples of Microwaves Used in Everyday Life

Despite the name microwave, these waves are some of the largest of the electromagnetic spectrum. Radio waves are the only ones with a longer wave length in comparison through this is overlap between the two.

Microwaves are used in the medical field, military, aviation industry, weather reporting, to just name a few. Microwaves can be used to heat of food, they can be sent through walls to see if there is something on the other side of it without even having to open up the wall to get there, and they can be used to transmit information from one device to another.

Many fields in science make use of microwaves. Engineers use it to detect flaws on the insides of pipes, and biologists use it to observe how molecules move in a cell. In fact, some scientists actually believe that microwaves may be one of the keys to finding alien life elsewhere in space since it is speculated that extraterrestrial life can be found in the form of microwaves.

The daily applications of microwaves are far and wide, lets dig into more details on the many common uses.

Examples of Microwaves Utilized in Everyday Life


Microwave Oven

No surprise for this one. A microwave oven is a tool that uses electromagnetic waves produced by microwaves to cook or heat food. The device does this using magnetrons, which are tubes that emit the microwaves into your food while rotating it at the same time.

It heats food by exciting the molecules in it with microwaves which causes the water inside them to vibrate. This vibration causes friction between the molecules and therefore produces heat, which is then transferred into cooking your food.

In an attempt to make sure that these microwaves don’t escape from the oven and harm you, there is a magnetron cover that traps the microwaves inside it.



The most sophisticated part of your GPS system is the receiver that picks up data from satellites orbiting Earth. It operates by receiving radio signals, which are composed of microwaves, which then helps it determine your location. This process works by first receiving information about at least four other locations on the planet, allowing the receiver to triangulate where you are located based on how long it takes for the signal to go from the satellite to you.


Electronic Imaging for Medical Diagnosis

Microwaves are used to create images that doctors use to help diagnose patients. One example of this is ultrasound, which uses a probe that emits microwaves, and then reads the reflections from the skin, soft tissue, and fluids inside a human body. The microwaves go through these layers and bounce back creating an image of what is going on inside.

Another type of electronic imaging that uses microwaves is called Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). This works by using magnetic fields to cross-section images. Microwaves are used for this because they can be readily absorbed and detected by the hydrogen atoms found in water molecules throughout the body.

The way that it does this with MRI is by first using a strong magnetic field to put the hydrogen atoms into alignment. Then, it is bombarded with microwaves which causes them to release detectable energy in the form of radio waves.

This application is about using microwaves to see and image the inside of an object in order to help in medical diagnoses. Another name for this is Sonography, which uses the same techniques as Radar Imaging in medicine.


Military Microwave Applications

The use of microwaves in the military is far-reaching and valuable in its many subdivisions.

-The most common application for this has been on submarines, where they’re able to communicate with other ships on the surface by bouncing a beam of microwaves off the water.

-Another common use is in the aircraft that carry the system, where they emit microwaves to find out how far away something is.

-Microwaves can be found in bombs and missiles as a way of detonating, tracking and destroying targets. They work by emitting microwaves to find out how far away something is, which allows it to explode at the right range so that its aim is true.

They also use this technology in missiles like Tomahawks or Hellfire to track and destroy targets. For example, in Hellfires they use it to find the range from the helicopter they are being fired from so that they can be exploded at just the right spot when aimed at a target.

These microwaves are not the same as those that cook your food; they’re designed specifically to be used in this way. The waves they use are either High-Frequency (HF) or Very-High-Frequency (VHF) and can also be very Low Frequency (LF). They usually vary between one and ten gigahertz.

-On a smaller scale, microwaves are used in “stealth” technology which allows planes to avoid radar detection by using materials that absorb or deflect radar waves. Essentially making the plane invisible to detection.

Microwaves are used to detect the location of targets without sending out any kind of signal. This is how it’s able to avoid radar detection because it doesn’t emit anything that could be picked up by a receiver, which would have otherwise given away its position. Rather, microwaves bounce off the target and then back towards its source, allowing it to determine where and how far away it is.

The problem with this is that it makes the plane hotter than normal because it now absorbs more heat rather than reflecting it, which can make it easier for them to be detected in infrared light.

-Also, small drones can use microwaves to fly autonomously. Microwave signals are used by the drones and their receivers in the ground control station to establish a communication link.

Microwaves have the advantage of not requiring line-of-sight between the drone and ground station, making it easier to control more than one drone at a time.

-Microwaves are also used in listening devices for clandestine operations. They work just like any other type of surveillance equipment that picks up sound waves and converts them into electronic signals for an operator to listen to on headphones or speakers.

One big advantage of microwaves over standard microphones is that they cannot be detected by human ears, which makes them more useful in covert operations.



Radar works by sending out electromagnetic waves from an antenna, which contains a magnetic field created by electricity. These waves have a frequency that is close to visible light, so they are referred to as radio waves or microwaves. They then pass through the atmosphere and bounce off an object that is in their path.

The object that has been hit by the microwaves then sends them back to radar in a very similar way, but since they have traveled further this time, we are able to determine how far away the object is. Since we know what speed microwaves travel at (the speed of light), it’s possible to use the delay between the two echoes to determine the distance.


Weather Satellites

Microwaves are used by weather satellites to gather information about the atmospheric temperature, humidity, and surface temperatures of Earth. This involves sending out microwaves that bounce off of objects on Earth into space where it is then detected by the satellite, which then interprets that data into what you see in weather reports.

Microwaves are sent by weather satellites at a special angle that allows them to travel through the atmosphere without warming up the air around them. This makes microwaves an ideal method for gathering information about atmospheric conditions since there is very little interference from heat sources that could skew the results of the data collected.


Bluetooth and Wi-Fi

Bluetooth is a type of wireless connection that allows you to connect devices wirelessly. This means no more worrying about messy wires for things like your earphones, speakers, mouse, and keyboard. A common application of microwave radiation where microwaves are involved in Bluetooth is by sending Bluetooth signals from your device to whatever device you need it connected to.

Wi-Fi is a type of wireless connection that allows for easy internet access. A common application where microwaves are involved in Wi-Fi is by sending out radio waves in order for your devices to detect the network and be able to connect to it wirelessly.

They both have very similar ways of functioning as the microwaves that are sent out by your router/computer/phone via the electromagnetic waves give information to your phone or computer about the network or device you would like to connect to. Since microwaves can transfer digital signals, this allows for an easier way of transferring these connections than with wires.


Microwaves as a Weapon

Microwaves are not actually used as a weapon, but the concept has been researched upon many times through the years. In theory, it would be possible to cook people alive with microwaves very quickly, but this has never actually happened in reality. Some scientists have played around with microwaves and found that they can move small metal objects if they are very close to the source of the microwaves. This is called “magnetron sputtering.”


Final Words

The use of microwaves is very extensive throughout all walks of life. Although there are many positive applications that people take advantage of, microwaves can also be used in destruction in the future.