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microwave, electromagnetic wave having a frequency range from 1,000 megahertz (MHz) to 300,000 MHz, corresponding to a wavelength range from 300 mm (about 12 in.) to 1 mm (about 0.04 in.). Like light waves, microwaves travel essentially in straight lines. They are used in radar, in communications links spanning moderate distances, and in other applications, such as microwave ovens. The equipment used to generate, process, and transmit microwaves is in many respects different from that used with lower frequency radio waves. See waveguide; magnetron.

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microwave Electromagnetic radiation which has a wavelength between 100 μm and 30 cm and frequencies between 1 GHz and 300 GHz. Microwaves lie between infrared and radiowaves. See also PASSIVE MICROWAVE.