MW1SmallA low-power apparatus is used to demonstrate the properties of microwaves. Detailed instructions are included for a number of experiments.

Photo at right: The microwave apparatus with the source on the left and the detector on the right.



Principles Illustrated

Microwaves are electromagnetic waves with wavelengths in the centimetre range. Microwaves exhibit the same properties that other waves exhibit. We usually demonstrate transmission and absorption, reflection, and standing waves.

NCEA & Science Curriculum

PHYS 2.3, PHYS 2.7, PHYS 3.3


See detailed instructions


“Microwaves” are usually taken to be 1 mm to 30 cm. Our apparatus produces microwaves with a wavelength of 3 cm.


Students should be made aware of the dangers of exposure to larger amplitude microwaves. Be sure your apparatus meets current safety standards.

Individual teachers are responsible for safety in their own classes. Even familiar demonstrations should be practised and safety-checked by individual teachers before they are used in a classroom.

Related Resources

This is part of our electromagnetic waves show. We can demonstrate electromagnetic waves over much of the electromagnetic spectrum: very low frequency, radio waves, microwaves, midwave IR, near IR, visible, uv, x-ray, gamma-ray.

Teaching Resources

Would you like to contribute lesson suggestions? Contact us.


This teaching resource was developed with support from

The MacDiarmid Institute
Faculty of Science, Victoria University of Wellington
School of Chemical and Physical Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington


Copyright and fair use statement