In the TV show "Murdoch Mysteries" (S12E01) Detective William Murdoch has a an ultra-modern (for the Edwardian period) house built. It includes a "potato cooking room" which is essentially a broom cupboard sized microwave. At his house-warming party someone is found dead in this cupboard having been microwaved to death. The word "exploded" is used a few times.

My question is not whether this is feasible with Edwardian technology because I fail to see how it could be (especially considering Murdoch seems to be on a fairly standard domestic supply) but simply how powerful a microwave system would you need to cause such catastrophic damage to a human body in such a space in fairly short order (in the TV show this whole grisly murder takes place in a matter of minutes).

  • $\begingroup$ If we take the Edwardian era as 1900-1910, there were certainly high power (1MW) radio transmitters in use (though with that power they were a bit bigger than a typical broom cupboard) but the AFAIK the first use of microwaves for cooking was a "spin-off" of the WWII use of magnetron tubes for radar. So in theory, the answer might be yes the technology to kill someone in a broom cupboard sized space using EM radiation may have existed, but no normal person would have used such a device to cook potatoes! $\endgroup$ – alephzero Feb 11 '20 at 22:39
  • $\begingroup$ Good points but I was looking for an actual wattage or similar $\endgroup$ – NickM Feb 11 '20 at 23:38