The microwave as a lethal weapon

The lowly kitchen device could be dangerous

Microwave ovens have been used to heat corn dogs melt toys. Now, two inventors want to employ them to liquidate an enemy in battle.

generic microwave

In an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, two inventors say they have come up with a way to get the magnetrons, the device inside microwave ovens that turns electrical energy into microwaves, to essentially synchronize.

Right now, the largest magnetrons can crank out about 1 megawatt. That's a lot of power, but the device is expensive and delicate. By getting off-the-shelf magnetrons to lock into the same frequency and phase, you could get the same power out of device that's easier to make. In early tests, the inventors say they have managed to link eight 1.2 kilowatt magnetron tubes together and achieve the same power density as a 20 kilowatt magnetron tube.

Grilled cheese sandwiches beware.

(Photo: Wikipedia)

About the author

    Michael Kanellos is editor at large at CNET News.com, where he covers hardware, research and development, start-ups and the tech industry overseas.

     

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