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Lumped-circuit analysis does not apply to microwave circuits because the microwave wavelengths approach the scales of the circuit. Distributed/transmission line analysis must be used instead. I have modified the first paragraph accordingly. Please do not revert.

Fbmyers 04:42, 11 October 2007 (UTC) Frankie Myers,

Needs editing?Edit

"There is also much more bandwidth in the microwave spectrum than in the rest of the radio spectrum."

Does not make any sense - does it mean "free (unallocated) bandwidth" ?

No, higher frequency (shorter wavelength) => more bandwith.

Again, makes no sense. Higher frequency => more *unallocated* bandwidth ?

No, it has nothing to do with allocated bandwidth, its sheer data capacity. Higher frequency = more bandwidth = higher data capacity.

For example, thats why 2.4GHz cordless phones have a clearer signal than 900MHz cordless phones. 2.4GHz is higher frequency than 900MHz, thus 2.4GHz has more bandwidth to transmit more audio data which makes the audio connection sonud clearer. Probably not the best example since the quality of the handset and phoneline are major factors but yapping about 802.11 bandwidth would probably just confuse you more.

Someone needs to clean up ths talk page. Up at the top it says I will pull out a knife after finding your home by your ISP address. Is that possible? Anyway... for some reason I cannot edit what is at the top of the page.

All this microwave talk is fascinating though!

This stuff about bandwidth is kind of misleading. Just because 2.4 GHz is higher than 900 MHz does not mean that there is more bandwidth to transmit a signal. The bandwidth is regulated by the FCC in any kind of commercial application, not by the frequency that is being used. An example will probably explain things best. Suppose you are broadcasting a signal that requires 10 kHz of bandwidth (typical AM radio). At typical AM broadcast frequencies from 540 kHz to 1600 kHz that means you could have (1600-540)/10=106 AM stations all operating at the same time (this is called frequency division multiplexing). If these stations were instead broadcasting in the range of frequencies from 540 MHz to 1600 MHz but still using 10 kHz each you could have (1600000-540000)/10=106000 AM stations all operating at the same time. Modern digital communication systems may require bandwidths of 10s of MHz. If you tried to use frequency division multiplexing to send a signal with a one MHz bandwidth in the AM frequency range you could only send one signal at a time: (1600-540)/1000~1. But in the frequency range from 540 MHz to 1600 MHz you could send over 1000 such signals. I hope it is clear that a 2.4 GHz cell phone does not use 2.4 GHz of bandwidth and that a 900MHz phone does not use 900 MHz of bandwidth.

Right on ! That's what I was talking about, higher frequency need not mean higher bandwidth ! Whenever someone says 2.4GHz, its a 'carrier frequency', there is some 'bandwidth' around the carrier frequency.

I hope I made it a little clearer. If you want a 6 MHz channel for TV, there are only 50 of them below 300 MHz but how many between 300 MHz and, say, 30 GHz? Also, the point about microwaves going through the atmosphere with less interference than lower frequency radio was simply wrong. Altaphon 23:34, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

Need diagrams people don't know where things are in the micro wave! Denden136 01:25, 9 May 2007 (UTC)Denden136

Just a bit of clarification on the discussion that is going on here. One of the people above is saying that the Microwave region of the spectrum has more "bandwidth" than others. The point the person is trying to get across is correct, but the way he/she is trying to get it across is misleading. The first thing to realize is that virtually no traffic that is in the "900 mhz" band or the "2.4 ghz" band actually operates with the specific carrier frequency of 900 mhz or 2400 mhz, respectively. Let's take the example of the 2.4 ghz band, and a common method of communication on that band, 802.11g. 802.11g has 11 channels, each of which uses a nominal amount of the spectrum above and below the primary carrier frequency given to that channel. The sum total of this nominal amount of spectrum "used up" by the channel is called the channel's bandwidth. For example, the nominal frequency of 802.11g CH1 is 2412 mhz, but it has a minimum and maximum frequency of 2401 mhz and 2423 mhz, respectively. This means that each channel in 802.11g uses 22 mhz of bandwidth. This of course is decided by how sensitive your equipment is expected to be and how much interference you will have to deal with. The better your equipment is, the narrower your channel bandwidth can be. It is therefore feasible to have a radio system operating in 900 mhz that can actually fit more information into the same amount of spectrum that say, 802.11g can, however, it is also true that because a system that has a higher base frequency has more "resolution" to it, your modulations can be bigger and more detectible, giving you more possible channels for a given modulation strategy.

Clear as mud? :)

The comment about Ku also being called P band is unattributed. P-band is traditionally a UHF band (225-390 MHz). It would be better if the comment were attributed (I can't say whether the comment is true or false) and that the generally accepted definition of P-band be included in the comment.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:48, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

can a microwaves oven be used for sterilisation?Edit

I was just wandering if it kills bacterias and could be used to kill pests like lice or fleas on stuffed toys without adding water. Dominique

My friend says you can put your toothbrush in the microwave to sterilize it when you are sick. YesJesusLovesYou 07:03, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

As far as I know, most bacteria and parasites have water in their bodies, and I really can't imagine them surviving the ordeal of having its innards heating to boiling point. Viruses might be another matter, not being alive, I don't know if they necessarily need to carry water inside their shells. 00:40, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

as long as it wont melt you can sterilize it not with the radiation but with the heat if it will melt you would probly be better off boiling it for a few minutes or it might only take a few seconds but im going with a few hours just to be safe--Av1497 16:33, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Differing ValuesEdit

The Pozar reference appears credible, but the values for frequency and wavelength are significantly different than what's commonly taught at the university level, with wavelengths from 10 cm to .001 cm, and frequencies from 3*10^9 to 3*10^12 Hz. Source: Recommend updating the first paragraph and citing a better source. Mugaliens 16:58, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Why are they called Microwaves?Edit

This article needs a bit more history. Who called them "microwaves" and why? What parameter is "micro" - the wavelength isn't in the micron range, so what is the "micro"? Please expand the article to explain this stuff. 05:09, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

As far as I know, this use of "micro" isn't related to the "micro" prefix of SI units. Historically the bands of the radio spectrum in common use were divided into "long wave" (1-10 km) "medium wave" (100-1000 m, which includes the AM broadcast band in most countries), and "short wave" (10-100 m). Wavelengths under 1 m are much shorter than even the short wave bands, so they were referred to as "microwaves." See also the table in the article on the Electromagnetic_spectrum. DGaryGrady (talk) 17:10, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

Frequency Bands discussionEdit

Band links wrong/misleading?Edit

The D, E, and F band links go to pages on radio frequencies. Is something wrong here?

Changed Q Band LimitsEdit

  • I changed the Q band limits from "30 to 50" to "33 to 50 GHz". This change is consistent with current band limits presented in the Q band wiki article and with the band designation presented in the text book "RF and Microwave Circuit and Component Design for Wireless Systems" by Chang Wiley Inter-Science, 2002 edition.--WikiDrive (talk) 19:23, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

Form of power?Edit

Ok, if you put a light bulb in a microwave it turns on, couldn't this theroy be used to transport electricity through the air?

Yes. Look up Nikola Tesla. Altaphon 23:08, 17 April 2007 (UTC)


Why do microwaves have turntables? Since the device is heating the whole compartment, do they really do anything? --David Youngberg 14:22, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

David, I believe this is because microwaves ovens do not evenly distribute the emitted microwaves to all areas in the oven. I think this question might be better addressed under the Microwave Oven entry. --Arterion 22:53, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
Actually this is because microwaves do not fill the entire oven. They actually only penetrate into whatever is being cooked by a few centimeters, and so there are large shadow regions in the oven. The turntable simply helps make cooking even. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 21:00, 6 February 2007 (UTC).
The generated electromagnetic field has nulls present in the cavity, similar to sines and cosines which make up the "wave". It is possible to place a small object at a certain point in a microwave oven where it will never be touched by the electromagnetic radiation (in the nulls), the turntable minimizes this effect as stated above.
Also, the penetration depth of the microwave is called the "skin depth" and is proportional to the permittivity of whatever it is you are cooking, it is not a constant of the microwave oven itself.

Microwaves vs. microwaveEdit

When talking a bout a term I am under the impression that the plural form is normally used. Should we then rename the article? --Tunheim 10:36, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

In this case it's commonly used as an adjective, such as microwave communication. Altaphon 23:09, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

It's a matter of style. The house style of *some* publishers is to use the plural form, but the house style of Wikipedia is to "create page titles that are in the singular". See Wikipedia:Naming conventions (plurals). -- (talk) 03:11, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

Misattributed discoveryEdit

They were *not* discovered by Max Lazarus.

Heating different states of matterEdit

Can anyone tell me why it is that water in a gaseous state isn't heated as easily as water in a liquid state. It says it why it doesn't work with frozen water, but a gas is even less dense than a liquid, so wouldn't it more freely rotate. Is that why, because it is to free and their isn't enough friction? It makes sense, but is that true? 21:25, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

yes it is true--Av1497 16:36, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

It`s not just friction, but also a change in resosnant frequency. And for the sake of completion, I'd consider the fact that the density of water in air is, generally, much much smaller than the density of liquid water; Even if the microwave heated them equally, I don't expect you'd notice the change. Darryl from Mars (talk) 07:41, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

Frequency RangeEdit

The paragraph about vacuum tube based devices doesn't really belong. It seems like useful information so I don't want to just delete it, but it's definitely in the wrong section, if not article. --Jw 14:12, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

My friend sean hampton seans microwave dinners!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:35, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

Unsourced CommentEdit

I'm relatively new in editing, but i'm trying to be bold. I am removing "For the proven dangers of microwave ovens visit this page" from Health Effects because it seems like original research and/or unsourced material. (Let me know if this is incorrect some way, I didn't see anything here about it. --Suamme1 18:04, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Yes. If not on that ground, then on grounds of sloppy language, incongruous placement within the article, and placement in the incorrect article. I should have killed it earlier myself. Welcome to the Wikipedia vigilantes. It's not the most fun job in building the encyclopedia, but it's a necessary one.
Let me make it a bit clearer. External linked sites don't have to conform to the same standards of neutrality, etc of articles. Links may for example go to the personal or official sites of controversial persons, corporations or organizations that may be concerned with promoting and defending their products, views or selves, rather than with balance or reliable sourcing. This idea obviously necessitates judgement calls, and I figure you made the right judgement here. Sometimes a look at other edits by the same account can help understand where they are coming from. Jim.henderson 20:55, 27 March 2007 (UTC)


Today's effort to disconfuse the different kinds of radiation is a good effort but not entirely successful, as some kinds of EMR ionize while others don't. I hope you can get it right. Jim.henderson 17:42, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

I feel it is only fair to add other sides of the Health Effects discussion. The current presentation seems biased, and needs editing.

Biased viewEdit

I feel it is only fair to add other sides of the Health Effects discussion. The current presentation seems biased, and needs editing.


Who assigned the name "microwaves"? Was it simply because they are shorter than radio waves? -- Beland 15:40, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

Accuracy of health effects researchEdit

The references to the "microwaves are unhealthy" research are all to the original journal articles. This is insufficient to determine whether or not the conclusions of these papers have been accepted by scientific consensus. Wikipedia's summary also implies that these studies have implications for human health. Is this implication supported or contradicted by scientific consensus, if any? -- Beland 15:47, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

I agree with your statement. I think many of these research articles are flawed. However, they are published and citable, and I think that the Wikipedia user should be the one to determine whether or not what they are reading here is sound science or not. Does that make sense? Sean Egan (talk) 20:04, 12 July 2012 (UTC)

Radio Spectrum?Edit

Why does the "Radio Spectrum" template appear at the bottom of this page, especially if Microwaves do not even appear within that template? Wouldn't it be more logical to have a "Microwave Spectrum" template, or just remove it entirely? The "Electromagnetic Spectrum" template already suffices. Alex Heinz 02:30, 7 July 2007 (UTC)


I had this somewhat sci-fi-ish fantasy about having a portable microwave emitter on hand for first-aid use against hypothermia.

Then out of curiosity, I googled "microwave hypothermia" (without the quotes) and there were a lot of interesting-looking pages, including a patent, that might be worth a look.

If anyone wants to look into this and possibly add any good information to the "Uses" section, be my guest. I may do the research myself if I find the time. Mbarbier (talk) 13:28, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

My understanding is that point of the word "medical" in the phrase "industrial, scientific, and medical band" ( ISM band ) is an oblique reference to just such medical microwave diathermy devices that are used against hypothermia.
Alas, the Wikipedia diathermy article does not back up my vague recollections.
Is this a gap in the diathermy and microwave articles that needs to be filled in?
Or I am mis-remembering and confusing ultrasonic diathermy with the microwave energy used in some kinds of minimaze procedure on the human heart?
-- (talk) 03:35, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

SourcesEdit Experiments with microwave and no klystron or vacuum stuff. Today the fastest spark gaps need 10 ns to develop some current. 1 ns is possible between dielectrics. Is the above mention source bad? Arnero (talk) 07:31, 4 May 2009 (UTC) (interested in the spark gap driven nitrogen laser)

Annual brand reviews/comparisons are necessary to improve the product qualitiesEdit

Any authentic bussiness review magazine...similar to

PC magazine etc...???-- (talk) 00:38, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

How about Microwave Engineering Europe or IEEE Microwave magazine? --catslash (talk) 03:02, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

Red links in the See also section are based on the following...Edit

PC keyboards?Edit

Are there any keyboards for the Mac or PC that communicate by microwave? The main page of this article doesn't explicitly say so, so I suppose there might be a few? Dexter Nextnumber (talk) 22:04, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

See Apple Wireless Keyboard and Bluetooth (Bluetooth uses the 2.4-2.5GHz ISM band.--catslash (talk) 21:04, 13 June 2010 (UTC)
I doubt that any keyboards would use microwave to transmit data. Radio requires much less energy and has less matter in our atmosphere which tries to interfere with it. Sean Egan (talk) 20:06, 12 July 2012 (UTC)
Sdegan, Catslash is correct. There are numerous Bluetooth keyboards and mice out there, and Bluetooth uses the 2.4 GHz band, which is in the microwave part of the spectrum - microwave ovens use the same band, and some cordless phones. Atmospheric absorption is indeed significant in this band, that is why it is allowed for license-free operation: the absorption makes it impractical for radar or for long distance comm. But for the distances usually involved in wireless keyboards it's not an issue.
Please note that "radio" is not an alternative to microwave; microwave is a type of radio! Saying something would use radio instead of microwave is like saying you'd use light instead of green light. Nor is microwave necessarily high power. "Microwave" is a description of the wavelength (meaning "very short wavelength"), it has nothing to do with the power level. The reason I don't have to worry about my Bluetooth mouse or headset cooking me is of course that the power level is very, VERY low - far less than the energy you'd absorb from sunlight, even on a cloudy day. Jeh (talk) 20:36, 12 July 2012 (UTC)

Better Photograph?Edit

The current photograph is beautiful from an artistic perspective, but it is nearly a silhouette and shows no detail, its just a dark circular object on a tower. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Esbboston (talkcontribs) 12:10, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

Electric cars?Edit

I took a part a microwave the other day, and noticed everything inside a microwave consitutes as a heat induction device. From the magnetron, to the transformer, to a high density capacitor, to the inverter and fan. If added to a vehicle it would make electricity to electromagnetism ie radiation. The magnetron would be a high frequency att, the magnets are all there. The transformer would be converted to an input transformer, or a powerful dc to ac feed and the inverter would be a surge motor or replacement to a alternator in order to feed the battery. The capacitor would be a dc feed. All of this would indeed work, as I tried it and experimented. On the upside, the radiation would be taken out of the circuits and trasfered via an actual load att back into electricity, this would be the magnetron or gravitron type device in a microwave to prevent over heating in electromagnetic cars. This would make the electric car more useful, at the same time a little more complex. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Asfd666 (talkcontribs) 15:08, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Edit request from , 15 November 2011Edit

Because this page does not contain a reference to microwave energy heating inorganic fluids, please add this link to the External Links section:

Caption: Microwave energy also heats fluids other than water, fats, and sugar. (talk) 21:09, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

Thank you for your assistance in making this page more complete. You may contact me at:

  Not done Conflicts in my opinion with WP:ELNO is not a standard thing to heat in a microwave. CTJF83 13:10, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Frequency TableEdit

I think the frequency for Gamma Rays is wrong, shouldn't it be "more than 30EHz"? The current 15EHz overlaps X-rays and according to Electromagnetic Spectrum the Gamma Rays starts at 30EHz with 10pm and 124keV. The content in this table is very different from the one at Electromagnetic Spectrum.

I would change it but I'm not an expert, maybe it's that way because gamma rays overlap X-Rays or Hard X-Rays are considered Gamma rays? If it's like this, than the table at Electromagnetic Spectrum should be modified??

Thank you,

Serpentus (talk) 01:31, 7 October 2012 (UTC)

300 GHz – 300 MHzEdit

Why are the range values in the chart backwards, going from high to low, wouldn't it be 300 MHz – 300 GHz etc? not 300 GHz – 300 MHz50.47.114.29 (talk) 15:32, 16 October 2012 (UTC)

Because the chart is sorted by wavelength and the frequencies are proportional to the reciprocal of the wavelengths. --Wtshymanski (talk) 15:40, 16 October 2012 (UTC)

Use of microwaves in spectroscopyEdit

A collective effort has recently improved the wikipedia page on pure rotational spectroscopy which is most often performed using microwave radiation. I have therefore inserted a link to this page by slightly altering the final sentence under "Spectroscopy" on this page. (talk)

Semi-protected edit request on 10 November 2015Edit

Add the pp-vandalism template. (talk) 09:09, 10 November 2015 (UTC)

  DoneSparkgap (talk) 10:02, 10 November 2015 (UTC)

wrong frequency to wavelength ratio in first paragraphEdit

In the first paragraph it says "300 MHz (100 cm) and 300 GHz (0.1 cm)". But 300 MHz corresponds to 1m and 300 GHz to 1 cm wavelength in free space. Can someone edit? Regards — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:24, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

Water absorptionEdit

There's an odd statement in the intro: "Beginning at about 40 GHz, the atmosphere becomes less transparent to microwaves, at lower frequencies to absorption from water vapor..."

But in fact there's quite significant absorption of RF energy by water vapor at far lower frequencies. Later, the article itself points out that microwave ovens rely on the absorption of RF energy at around 2.4 GHz, and in fact this absorption is already significant at a few hundred MHz, right at the lowest threshold of what a "microwave" is.

There's no reference cited for this 40 GHz figure. It appears to rely on the accompanying figure "Atmospheric_Microwave_Transmittance_at_Mauna_Kea_(simulated)", but that figure is based on DRY AIR: "a precipitable water vapor level of 0.001 mm", whereas 100% relative humidity at 20º C is equal to 17.54 mm, so the graph is based on 0.00057% relative humidity. Super dry. No wonder the effects of water vapor on RF absorption are not visible at the low-frequency end of the graph.

In other words, this section of the introduction, and the accompanying figure, are grossly misleading with respect to the relationship between water vapor and RF absorption in air. (talk) 03:11, 13 July 2016 (UTC)

Yes, but take the blame on water out, and 40 GHz is not a bad estimate, as microwave absorption gets particularly bad, at wavelengths shorter than about 7 mm in air. Enough that the atmosphere blocks most of it from space. But it's oxygen that is there starting to be the culprit, and dry or not, you can't see through in bands after that. Of course, all these things are relative, and there is some water absorption at even longer wavelengths. Here's the fine structure from an astronomer's view:

This has a diagram from Wiki Commons somewhere, but I can't find it.

IT is something like this, but with the area from 1 mm to 1 cm stretched out.

Rough plot of Earth's atmospheric transmittance (or opacity) to various wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation. Microwaves are strongly absorbed at wavelengths shorter than about 1.5 cm (above 20 GHz) by water and other molecules in the air.
Anyway, the microwave oxygen stretch starts to get important after 40 GHz and that's what does it, not water. So indeed all these bands still show up in dry air. Water can absorb far below 40 GHz as you point out, and indeed the article should say that, not blame the problems above 40 GHz on water. It's THAT, that is the error. Below 40 GHz, well into the radar K band, absorption depends grossly on simple humidity-- how high you are, whether you're trying to look humid air, and so on. SBHarris 07:58, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
Much better. Thanks! (talk) 21:44, 17 July 2016 (UTC)

I was taught that microwaves had a wavelength of 1 inch or less. This "meter" ,as mentioned, is more UHF than microwaves.

Ref: Electronics tech 35 years, 17 years experience. Worked with microwaves at Microsource, Inc, and at Hewlett-Packard in Sonoma County. Took Microwave tech at Santa Rosa Junior College, subscribed to Microwave Journal. (talk) 02:15, 19 November 2016 (UTC)

Wrong frequency descriptions for microwaves?Edit

I was taught that microwaves had a wavelength of 1 inch or less. This "meter" ,as mentioned, is more UHF than microwaves.

Ref: Electronics tech 35 years, 17 years experience. Worked with microwaves at Microsource, Inc, and at Hewlett-Packard in Sonoma County. Took Microwave tech at Santa Rosa Junior College, subscribed to Microwave Journal. (talk) 02:15, 19 November 2016 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 8 October 2017Edit

Dfurbeck (talk) 16:38, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
  Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. SparklingPessimist Scream at me! 20:32, 8 October 2017 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 6 December 2017Edit

In the electromagnetic spectrum box radio waves are incorrectly labelled in the frequency column where is should be "300 MHz – 3 Hz" instead of "300 GHz – 300 MHz" (talk) 18:45, 6 December 2017 (UTC)

  Not done: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit semi-protected}} template. The text of the article matches the table. RudolfRed (talk) 02:48, 7 December 2017 (UTC)

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Semi-protected edit request on 4 May 2018Edit

In "Electromagnetic Spectrum Table", change frequency of Radio from 300GHz - 300kHz to 300MHz - 300kHz (talk) 12:53, 4 May 2018 (UTC)

  Not done: Not an improvement, radio technique applies down to about 8 Hz. ]] --Wtshymanski (talk) 15:53, 4 May 2018 (UTC)


please change ((antenna)) to ((Antenna (radio)|antenna))

The first already pointed there. I've removed the second, as overlinking. It's a common term, we don't need to repeat it. Andy Dingley (talk) 18:04, 13 July 2018 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 15 November 2018Edit

"Change *A more common definition in radio engineering is the range between 1 and 100 GHz (wavelengths between 3 m and 3 mm)* to *A more common definition in radio engineering is the range between 1 and 100 GHz (wavelengths between 0.3 m and 3 mm)* because the wavelength corresponding to 1 GHz is 0.3 m instead of 3m" Gallo Ba (talk) 13:09, 15 November 2018 (UTC)

  Done. Good catch! –Deacon Vorbis (carbon • videos) 14:39, 15 November 2018 (UTC)
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