The knowledge of the electric and thermic behaviour of a microwave oven is essential both for the designer and for the user. The former needs to know resonant frequencies and input impedance of the cavity in both situations, empty oven and filled with food, to realize a good matching between source (magnetron) and load. The latter needs to know temperature distribution inside the food to keep under control proteic degradation and/or to assure a complete food pasteurization and sterilization. The TLM method proves to be the most efficient; in the present contribution the method has been used to evaluate resonant frequencies of a commercial microwave oven, empty and filled with a phantom simulating the dielectric characteristics of a biological tissue; moreover the electric field distribution inside the phantom has been obtained. Theoretical results have been compared with experimental measurements performed by a vector network analyzer and infrared thermography obtaining a good agreement.
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