How Physics has Brought a Sea-Change In the Modern Day Kitchenette
- Sep 07, 2016
- Sudipto Das
Since the industrial era, the modern day kitchenette has gone through a lot of changes. Novel appliances have adorned the modern kitchen shelves, and some of them are undoubtedly pretty advanced. These appliances can revolutionize the way through which we prepare and store food. The advancement in physics played a vital role in bringing this sea-change. But where did it all start? We’ll see the answer to that question in this article along with a few example appliances as well.
In the 1790s, Sir Benjamin Thompson, an inventor developed various ways of improving fireplaces, chimneys, and industrial furnaces through the study of thermodynamics and fluid dynamics. His kitchen appliances were not only fuel-efficient in comparison to traditional designs but were also comparatively safer than the traditional ones.
Stove tops came in by the early 1800s. During that era, stoves usually burnt charcoal and wood as a fuel. Those stoves had flat tops where the heat was centralized only on one side of the top. Such a system is known to be the “Piano” system. Such a cooking style is almost obsolete these days, but the French chefs still implement such a technique which is nowadays known to be the “French Style” of cooking.
Similarly, there were many other improvements in the field of kitchen appliances, and finally, we have ended up with the ones today. These days, it’s almost impossible to find one similarity between a cooking appliance of the 1790s and an upgraded version of the same in the present. It’s a sea change. Let’s go through a few such appliances without further ado.
Modern day refrigerators consist of a thermally insulated compartment as well as a heat pump that can transfer heat from inside-out through the use of CFC (CFC is not environment-friendly). All these refrigerators are usually known to be compressor refrigerators. You have surely heard about compressor refrigerators a lot and probably have one in your household.
Some advanced ones include absorption refrigerators and solar-powered refrigerators.
This appliance is pretty common these days and has also become a part and parcel of every kitchen. The appliance works by exposing food stuff to microwaves. That induces polar molecules into the food. These polar molecules rotate within the food, which in turn produces thermal energy in a specific process known as dielectric heating.
Through this process, the food gets heated in a semi-uniform way, as long as the food stuff isn’t so dense.
The 1st microwave was invented in 1946 and was called the “Radarange.” It was invented by Dr. Percy Spencer. Mr. Spencer applied the knowledge of radar technology to develop such an intricate appliance.
These are one of the oldest appliances used in the kitchen. Some of the earliest ovens are presumed to be from Central Europe in 29,000 BC. Ovens range from roasting to boiling pits. The categories of modern ovens include:
Dishwashers work by incorporating dirty/smudged dishes in a waterproof tub. Hot water is then sprayed in cycles. Modern day dishwaters have some more advanced features. They can even adjust their wash cycle feature automatically depending on the degree of work that needs to be done.
Pressure cooking is the process through which food is cooked using water/cooking fluid in a sealed vessel. That sealed vessel is known to be as a pressure cooker.
In pressure cookers, food gets cooked faster than traditional methods of cooking. And it does save a whole lot of energy (and money).
So you see that physics has brought a revolution in the field of kitchen appliances. But you have become so used to it that you probably haven’t yet realized the fact. So the next time you pop in a meal into your microwave oven, do think of the physicists who have made your life so much easier and convenient. With that, we’ll bring this article to a close. Hope you had a good read.
Sudipto writes technical and educational content periodically for wizert.com and backs it up with extensive research and relevant examples. He's an avid reader and a tech enthusiast at the same time with a little bit of “Arsenal Football Club” thrown in as well. He's got a B.Tech in Electronics and Instrumentation.
Follow him on twitter @SudiptoDas1993
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