mould in the microwave

Tryggvi Emilsson emilsson at
Mon Apr 2 10:08:56 EST 2001

A mould growing on the inner surfaces of a microwave oven is not subjected
to any "radiation". Microwave ovens work at 2.45 GHz, or a wavelength of
12.24 cm. As with any radio waves bouncing off a conducting surface, there
is an "anti-node" 1/4 wavelength from the wall, and a "node" at the
surface. In other words, things that are ~3 cm from the walls in a
microwave oven, feel the full power of the electromagnetic field, whereas
things on the surface of the wall don't get heated at all. At intermediate
distances "d" (in cm )the power is roughly proportional to
(sin(d*2*pi/12.24))**2 . If left alone, the mould might grow several mm
from the surface before any adventurous hyphae get cooked by microwaves.

T. Emilsson

On Mon, 2 Apr 2001, Richard Witherden wrote:

>There was a "mould" growing in the microwave oven in the canteen.  It 
>was removed with thorough cleaning.  Is it common for moulds to be 
>able to survive high levels of radiation?

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