Sound Wave
Light, Sound and Waves

Hearing microwaves

Stories from Physics for 11-14 14-16 IOP RESOURCES

During the Second World War, radio operators reported being able to perceive microwaves as auditory stimuli. The effect has been recreated under laboratory conditions and a number of people reported buzzing or knocking sounds when exposed to microwaves. It is thought that the sound is produced because microwaves can cause a small heating effect in tissue in the head leading to thermal expansion that generates an audible pressure wave.


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