Tom Scott

I promise this story about microwaves is interesting.

I found an article that said “The microwave was invented to heat hamsters humanely in 1950s experiments.” And I thought, no it wasn’t. …was it?

Pull down the description for thorough references and credits.

Thanks to James Lovelock for his time! His latest book is Novacene: [that is, of course, an Amazon affiliate link]

Filmed safely: – thanks to jabs, PCR tests, isolation and distancing.

I did consider whether to do an extended interview with Dr Lovelock, but the Science Museum has already done far better than I ever could:

On cyborgs, asteroids and Gaia theory:

On his greatest epiphany:

An extended 90-minute interview from the Lovelock Centenary Conference:


I Burrell, in the Independent, 1997: “Your money, or the cat gets microwaved”:
M Blitz, “The Amazing True Story of How the Microwave Was Invented by Accident”:
E Schliephake, “Ultra-short waves in medicine” in Short Wave Craft, Vol. 3, No. 11, March 1933, p. 646 [PDF]:
E Ackerman, “A Brief History of the Microwave Oven”, IEEE Spectrum:

Radarange photo from Acroterion: – image licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license,

James Lovelock in 1962: Photo by Donald Uhrbrock/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images

A Smith, J Lovelock, A Parkes, 1954: Resuscitation of Hamsters after Supercooling or Partial Crystallization at Body Temperatures Below 0° C.. Nature 173, 1136–1137.
R K Andjus, J E Lovelock, 1955: Reanimation of rats from body temperatures between 0 and 1° C by microwave diathermy. The Journal of Physiology, 128. https://doi.org10.1113/jphysiol.1955.sp005323.
Lovelock, J E, Smith A U, 1959, Heat transfer from and to animals in experimental hypothermia and freezing. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 80: 487-499.

I’m at
on Twitter at
on Facebook at
and on Instagram as tomscottgo

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

Just Move The 4 #shorts
Footnote † from STV: Switch To STV
Animatronic Ackbar — BiDiPi #25
Fire Pong (Rule Zero) – Computerphile
Should you catch a tossed coin? – Numberphile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *