Microwave production and detection is incredibly important in many modern applications:
- telecommunications, e.g. being used in
- satellite communications
youtu.be/EYovBJR6l5U?list=PL-_93BVApb58SXL-BCv4rVHL-8GuC2WGb&t=27 from CuriousMarc comments on some piece of Apollo equipment they were restoring/reversing:
These are the boxes that brought you voice, data and live TV from the moon, and should be early masterpieces of microwave electronics, the blackest of black arts in analog electronics.Ah, Ciro Santilli really wishes he knew what that meant more precisely. Sounds so cool!
- 4G and other cellular network standards
- radar. As an example, 1965 Nobel Prize in Physics laureate Julian Schwinger did some notable work in the area in World War II, while most other physicists went to the Manhattan Project instead.This is well highlighted in QED and the men who made itby Silvan Schweber (1994). Designing the cavity wasn't easy. One of the key initial experiments of quantum electrodynamics, the Lamb-Retherford experiment from 1947, fundamental for modern physics, was a direct consequence of post-radar research by physicists who started to apply wartime developments to their scientific search.Wikipedia also mentions en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Microwave&oldid=1093188913#Radar_2:
The first modern silicon and germanium diodes were developed as microwave detectors in the 1930s, and the principles of semiconductor physics learned during their development led to semiconductor electronics after the war.
- microwave is the natural frequency of several important Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics phenomena, and has been used extensively in quantum computing applications, including completely different types of quantum computer type:Likely part of the appeal of microwaves is that they are non-ionizing, so you don't destroy stuff. But at the same time, they are much more compatible with atomic scale energies than radio waves, which have way way too little energy.
- trapped ion quantum computer; Video "Trapping Ions for Quantum Computing by Diana Craik (2019)"
- superconducting quantum computer; e.g. this Junior Microwave Design Engineer job accouncement from Alice&Bob: archive.ph/wip/4wGPJ
Microwave only found applications into the 1940s and 1950s, much later than radio, because good enough sources were harder to develop.
Apparently, DC current comes in, and microwaves come out.
TODO: sample power efficienty of this conversion and output spectrum of this conversion on some cheap device we can buy today.
Finance is a cancer of society. But I have to admit it, it's kind of cool.
arstechnica.com/information-technology/2016/11/private-microwave-networks-financial-hft/ The secret world of microwave networks (2016) Fantastic article.