Since they were introduced on the market, microwave ovens have been a popular product as they offer the option to heat food or liquids in a fast and convenient manner, even if the results aren’t as even as some may want.
A team of explorers sought to explore how good are microwave ovens at heating liquids in comparison to other heating methods. The results were quite interesting since while the process can fast microwaves seem to be the least efficient at the task, a fact that can be explained by physics.
When water is being heated on a stovetio, convection will push hot water from the bottom of the container upward, establishing a circulation that will ensure that the water has been heated evenly. By contrast, microwaves will heat both the water and the walls of the container.
In this case there is no water circulation, and as a result, the water near the top of the container is hotter than the one found at the bottom. This can lead to an unpleasant experience since the user may wait for the liquid to cool only to discover that it is not warm enough
Solving the problem
Once the facts mentioned above were established, the researchers wanted to see if something can be done to improve the heating process. They designed a specia glass with a rim that was plated with silver.
The silver plating prevented the water found near the rim to become to hoot and facilitated convection. While silver plating has to be applied with a special technique to prevent the issues associated with metals introduced in microwave ovens, the researchers argue that the metal has been placed in a special area where ignition is impossible, so there are no risks.
More information can be found in a paper that was published in a scientific study.