Tom Scott interviews James Lovelock about reanimating frozen hamsters in the 1950s

Investigates the turns-out-to-be-true urban myth that microwave ovens were invented to humanely heat up hamsters Tom ‘s master title is “ I promise this story about microwaves is interesting ” – and it decidedly is ! Percy Spencer “ invented the microwave ” good after World War II. While working on one of the new military-grade radars he realised that the insignificant bar in his back pocket had melted.

A massive radar cup of tea is basically the same engineering as this microwave. bill : there is a high-octane capacitor in microwave ovens – DO N’T TAKE APART !
The microwave generator is called a magnetron.
Put a magnetron, tuned the wavelengths so that water absorbs the radiation easily, inside a Faraday cage, and you can cook lunch. The technical foul term is “ diathermic heat ”. In 1947, that engineer ‘s company ( Raytheon ) released the first commercial microwave that was the size of a electric refrigerator. The beginning domestic microwave was released in the deep 1960s once magnetron technology had improved. I found papers from the 1950s talking about the reanimation of freeze rats and hamsters at the National Institute for Medical Research, a politics lab in Mill Hill, London/ Scientists at that lab froze rats and hamsters beyond the charge of end.
No heart pace, no breathe, core temperature around 1°C, somewhere between 10 and 50 % of the animal ‘s body water frigid to ice. They used ice and a bath of propylene diol and then applyied hot spatulas to the chest of drawers. The success rate was n’t great and the animals were often left with burns.

In 1955, one of the researchers has the estimate to use a magnetron – that was James Lovelock .

Interview with James Lovelock

At 101 years erstwhile he goes for a walk along the coast every day. For 10 shillings of my own money I bought a excess RAF transmitter.
I ‘ve joined this up with a waveguide, into a metallic box made out of wire mesh. He shares some fun stories from that time :

  • I put a potato in it and baked it. And it was perfectly all right.
  • the thing was running open and the radiation was bouncing all round the room
  • light bulbs would light up without warning as the filament had the same wavelength as the radiation
  • pound would catch fire because the metal strip inside was just about the wavelength of the magnetron

More importantly, it worked with the hamsters. With a accurate calibrated microwave and artificial breathing ( to start pumping oxygen around the body ) about every rodent they froze was successfully reanimated. “ You can not freeze a human. It ‘s partially a matter of how quickly you can get the anti-freeze agent to diffuse into the cells. ” His latest script “ Novacene ” is separate memoir and partially attend to the future

James Lovelock may not have invented THE first base microwave but he surely invented A microwave. And he thinks a human is besides big to freeze.