The reason microwaves don’t cook evenly comes straight from physics. When you continuously feed waves into a space—which is what microwaves do—you’ll often have some “dead” spots:
In two dimensions, you get a similar but more complicated pattern.
All to answer the question of what’s the best way to reheat Chinese leftovers. How I love ‘What If‘.
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Also see this: http://www.evilmadscientist.com/2011/microwave-oven-diagnostics-with-indian-snack-food/ (spotted on Hacker News).