I promise this story about microwaves is interesting.

Dipublikasikan tanggal 16 Mei 2021
I found an article that said "The microwave was invented to heat hamsters humanely in 1950s experiments." And I thought, no it wasn't. ...was it?
Pull down the description for thorough references and credits.
Thanks to James Lovelock for his time! His latest book is Novacene: amzn.to/3hmKsWz [that is, of course, an Amazon affiliate link]
Filmed safely: www.tomscott.com/safe/ - thanks to jabs, PCR tests, isolation and distancing.
I did consider whether to do an extended interview with Dr Lovelock, but the Science Museum has already done far better than I ever could:
On cyborgs, asteroids and Gaia theory: • James Lovelock on...
On his greatest epiphany: • James Lovelock di...
An extended 90-minute interview from the Lovelock Centenary Conference: • Tim Lenton interv...
I Burrell, in the Independent, 1997: "Your money, or the cat gets microwaved": www.independent.co.uk/news/yo...
M Blitz, "The Amazing True Story of How the Microwave Was Invented by Accident": www.popularmechanics.com/tech...
E Schliephake, "Ultra-short waves in medicine" in Short Wave Craft, Vol. 3, No. 11, March 1933, p. 646 [PDF]: worldradiohistory.com/Archive...
E Ackerman, "A Brief History of the Microwave Oven", IEEE Spectrum: spectrum.ieee.org/tech-histor...
Radarange photo from Acroterion: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fi... - image licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license, creativecommons.org/licenses/...
James Lovelock in 1962: Photo by Donald Uhrbrock/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images
A Smith, J Lovelock, A Parkes, 1954: Resuscitation of Hamsters after Supercooling or Partial Crystallization at Body Temperatures Below 0° C.. Nature 173, 1136-1137. doi.org/10.1038/1731136a0
R K Andjus, J E Lovelock, 1955: Reanimation of rats from body temperatures between 0 and 1° C by microwave diathermy. The Journal of Physiology, 128. doi.org/10.1113/jphysiol.1955...
Lovelock, J E, Smith A U, 1959, Heat transfer from and to animals in experimental hypothermia and freezing. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 80: 487-499. doi.org/10.1111/j.1749-6632.1...
I'm at tomscott.com
on Twitter at tomscott
on Facebook at tomscott
and on Instagram as tomscottgo

Komentar: 15 216

  • An update from July 2022: James Lovelock passed away, surrounded by family, on his 103rd birthday. I'm very grateful to have been able to interview him, and my deepest condolences to his family. Rest in peace. His obituary is worth reading, because it covers so much: www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jul/27/james-lovelock-obituary

    • i just talked about him and this video to colleagues on monday

    • I am glad this video popped up on my feed today, and that I watched it.

    • I clicked on this video randomly and now I'm sad

    • I saw the news and immediately came back to this video

  • A 101 year old scientist explaining his crazy experiments is the best smile I ever saw.

    • nice pfp

    • @RichConnerGMN Thank you, I'm quite proud of it.

    • I love his smile at 7:57

    • Seriously, that was wonderful to watch. Now I want to just hear him tell stories for the next six hours. I can only hope to have such good stories and such a sense of humor at that age. Great job Tom, amazing video.

    • Indeed. It made my day to relive his adventures with him. And what a treasure piece of history that almost got lost. Good work Doctor L, and good work Tom Scott.

  • RIP James, died on his 103rd birthday yesterday. The most interesting scientist I'd never heard of until Tom introduced us all.

    • So he was born and died on the same day of year?

    • Rip

    • RIP :(

    • @SloppySpider25 Yes he was born on July 26th 1919 and died July 26th 2022

    • 100 and 3, that's one hell of a run.

  • In my opinion, the most unbelievable part about the original Percy Spencer story of how he invented microwaves is that he had a candy bar in his pocket and when it melted he thought "oh, this must be the radar's fault" and not "Oh, I'm an idiot for leaving a candy bar in my pocket".

    • maybe it was winter

    • I think the point was, it didn't just melt. It cooked itself, heated up to more than possible just by the 36.6 celsius your body can warm it up to.

    • @TrykusMykus That would make more sense to me, but in every retelling of the story I've ever read, it never specifies that, it always uses the phrase "melted".

    • @Salt Exarch Melting describes a spectrum of states from solid and amorphous to completely liquid. Surely a scientist is able to understand the difference between a slightly melted candy bar and a *melted* candy bar. It’s not hard to see that difference and understand its relation to the air temperature and whether it was a normal amount of melting. We’re talking about scientists here

    • @ℚ𝕦𝕒𝕔𝕜𓅭 Honestly: Scientists don't really always know what they are doing. They are human after all.

  • I've never seen someone smile so brightly from saying "I put a potato in it, and baked it"

    • *smile fades slightly* “it was perfectly alright”. If that doesn’t sum up using a microwave to reheat food, I don’t know what does.

    • Linda Tripp would be tripping!!!

    • @R imagine being the person who discovered the disappointment of a potato cooked in the microwave

    • That reminds me of Light Yagami for some reason...

    • @Nick Clegg's Promise it might not be a culinary masterpiece but it is much quicker than doing it in the oven!

  • Forget hamsters. How does he stay so incredibly young and clear-headed at 101? Amazing!

    • He definitely figured out how to freeze humans and bring back to life after years )

    • Microwaves? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    • Just don't end up hating everyone once you retire? Easy enough.

    • @Jack Harrington Not so easy in some cases. Plus, 'not hating everyone' doesn't equate to 'good memory and coherency.'

    • Probably kept his brain stimulated all his life, and Tom mentioned he took regular walks on the beach. Healthy mind and healthy body.

  • I can't think of a single reason why a story about microwaves wouldn't be immensely interesting!

    • everyone was talking about you :o

    • They are indeed quite fascinating.

    • hello hello

    • I mean, its not like they are Heat Pumps....

    • Even the legends watch other legends. You make interesting videos that I didn't know I wanted to watch till after I watch it. So thank you got that

  • This guy was literally watching technology evolve before his eyes

    • wait you can freeze someone and then bring them back to life why haven't they perfected this tech then we would have cryo tech finally

    • @Raven4K if you watched the video he said we are to big

    • @Raven4K 10:18

    • He wasn’t just watching he was helping evolve it further

    • @Raven4K size is a very important factor to this, we are bigger, but molecules don’t get bigger.

  • I heard about James Lovelock's passing and came straight to this video. The interview is so warm and personable, he really was a treasure. Thanks for showcasing this piece of history.

    • He had this air of wise but fun grandfather with him. RIP Mr. Lovelock

    • wait they were microwaving hamster's?

    • @Raven4K I’m saying 😭

    • @Militant Vegan 🔫🦆 stop crying like a baby and have some cheese boy🤣

  • wow that guy was SHARP for 101. unbelievable

    • Ironically SHARP is a brand of microwave ovens.

  • The fact that he was willing to be interview all these years later made me so happy. And how happy he was to share.

  • Imagine dying from hypothermia and a doctor just puts you into a microwave for 5 minutes.

    • And you hear it "ding!" when you're ready

    • I imagine they sedated the hamsters before freezing them (was sedation very common back then?) …hopefully the hamsters didn’t feel hypothermia

    • some people say you can only reheat meals for two times...

    • And you'd still get a medical bill for $68.000

  • he's doing remarkably well for 101 years old

    • You just cant stop smiling when ever his talking

    • @Yassine Maati His smile just lights up adorably like a child.

    • His cognitive recollection is amazing

    • Clearly being exposed to that microwave radiation in the lab didn't have too many adverse effects.

    • i thought you were talking about tom scott 😭😭 i only just started the video

  • Thank you Tom. That was what you might call public service broadcasting. "Nobody has asked me about that before". Priceless.

    • I have to imagine he would often get interviews through the decades on his many many important projects. He must have been quite puzzled to be 101 and be called about the hamster reanimation work of all things! So glad we have him on the record about it. Truly amazing. But he did invent the microwave in the course of it!

  • 5:40 you have no idea how shocked and happy I was hearing him say this bit. I didn't expect him to be alive still and I'm sure you made his day with the interview.

    • BigScriptus Sadly, less than a month after you said that, it's no longer true.

    • @mknote This is the guy. This is the guy who’s to blame.

    • same!

  • The most unbelievable thing about this story is that Lovelock put a potato in a microwave and it came out perfectly cooked, and not molten lava on the outside and ice cold on the inside.

    • Well, it was “perfectly alright,” not necessarily perfectly cooked, haha

  • Rest in peace to James Lovelock. A scientist, an educator, father of the Gaia Theory and of course microwaves. May his legacy live on.

  • James looked as if he had always been so passionate in all his life trying to invent new things and put things all together and tinker with stuff. And the genuine smile he had on his face throughout the whole interview says it all. Rest in peace James Lovelock, you made a big and good difference on the world. Thanks Tom for unravelling this amazing story too.

  • man's 101 years old and can still speak perfectly and recall the exact story. legend

    • absolute legend. it's great that this information is documented :D

    • And I can not remember something I did last week. God damnit.

    • Man's? You married to him or something?

    • @Leonardo L To be fair if you'd brought a hamster back to life you'd probably remember!

    • @J Ad Hahah, true!

  • The fact he messed around with microwaves back in the day, AND is still so mentally together at 101 is the most amazing thing about this video.

    • Not sure about the connection.

    • Let that be a bit of education about cell phone damage. Not so real.

  • This is incredible journalism! You brought a story back to life and now it is very well documented for the future and even with a live record from the main scientist involved!

  • Such an interesting Scientist, his death is a tremendous loss. RIP James Lovelock.

  • you can tell how excited lovelock was to finally talk about his research with someone who was genuinely interested

  • My word, James Lovelock was in incredible shape and incredibly sharp for 101 years old. May he rest in peace.

    • Two wives, many inventions, Dorset coast, can't beat it!

  • I can't believe the fact that this story could have been completely lost to history if Tom hadn't stumbled upon a random line.

  • Incredible history. RIP James Lovelock. I'm astonished how well he was at his 100's even he remembered the stuff he did 50 years ago.

  • I just read on wikipedia that James Lovelock sadly passed away. I immediately thought of this video and what a nice (and extremely intelligent) person he was.

  • This is genuinely the nuttiest story I've ever heard and I'm not surprised it came from you Tom

  • Rest in peace James Lovelock, you were an amazing person, thank you

  • Rest in peace James. 😢May Gaia be with you. 🌍 I wish we had more brilliant, enthusiastic and positively thinking minds like him everywhere.

  • 101 year old guy is more coherent than me. What an absolutely incredible dude

    • Ikr, dudes still sharp as a tack

    • James Lovelock is not just any guy.

    • My position involves working with older demographics. The correlation of reduced coherence and age is really not a smooth as you'd expect. I've talked to 55 year olds that hardly remember what I explained 30 seconds ago, and I've talked to 90 year olds that I don't have to explain anything to because they did their own research already. It's really changed my perspective on aging.

    • @R D probably has got to do with a combination of diet, iq, activities and stress that makes you healthier later in life.

    • Yaaaap....

  • RIP James Lovelock, died today on his 103rd birthday - he was a pioneer, and I'm so grateful to this video for introducing me to his work

  • I genuinely think this is one of the best videos you've ever done. It's certainly my personal favorite.

  • Rest in peace Dr. Lovelock❤ 103 is a heck of an age to get to, so glad this video exists of you getting to talk about your crazy scientist life with a big smile on your face

  • May he rest in peace what a true human he was

  • So wholesome to see him speak so fondly about his work and colleague friends.

  • That 101-year-dude looks like a healthy and clear minded 80 year old, I'm impressed. All the best for him!

    • @ez icarus It's a thousand times better than mine and I'm not even a quarter his age.

    • Some people just get the good genes.

    • Hearing people talk vividly about things that happened 70 years ago scares me and makes me think I have a condition because my memory recall of events is almost non existent, I can remember places I worked at 10 or 15 years ago and what the job entailed but no details, no colleague's names, nothing specific. Just that I worked there for several years. And yet when it comes to trivia and general knowledge I'm practically a sponge as once I learn something it sticks. I can give you a detailed run down of the Punic wars but I can't describe what any of my previous homes were like :/

    • @Rob Fraser it's all about your intent and interest in the info. I remember the titleI, and songwriters name (and often even the albums' name) of nearly every song I've ever heard. However I can barely remember concepts from basic algebraic math, especially balancing polynomial equations.

    • Looks like frequent exposure to electromagnetic radiation makes wonders, hehe. ** Need moar 5G towers! **

  • What a amazing guy. Glad he got to live a long and happy life and to enjoy these experiments he was apart of and the smile he has telling others

  • Lovelock was an incredible individual. I did once have the pleasure of hearing a lecture from him. Sadly missed

  • The way he describes his experiments with such detail, and enthusiasm is just amazing.

  • this is such an important part of history that's clearly been neglected, it's certainly relieving to know this incredible story won't be lost to the world. great work :)

  • I remember someone telling me that in WW2 a Japanese scientist used enormous microwave ‘ovens’ to experiment on people, mostly Koreans. The horrors of war… sometimes history is a horror story but not something we may ever forget.

  • Mr. Lovelock is by far be the healthiest clearest-minded 101 year old I've ever seen, that alone was incredible.

    • I care for a 98 year old who has a similar level of clarity.

    • maybe open microwave had something to do with that **X-Files theme song starts**

    • He's just stored in the fridge most of the time.

    • He's only just been thawed after 20 years in cryopreservation

    • @Chamara Silva I was going to say, if he's looking that good at that age after all that exposure to radiation I'm going to start running my microwave with the door open! (Don't try this at home 😆)

  • This is the third time I've watched this and it still makes me smile. Mr. Lovelock is adorable when he talks about the light bulbs lighting randomly from the radiation bouncing around the room. I love everything about this piece.

  • I love how happy he is while telling this story

  • When Tom says "I promise it will be interesting", I just listen because I know it will be amazing!

  • I never expected the backstory of the microwave to be this interesting. Thank you for sharing.

  • Rest in piece James. E. Lovelock, one of Britain's great scientists

  • James Lovelock is the spriteliest 101 year old that I have ever seen. What a privilege to hear his story. Thanks Tom.

    • 101, and his mind's still sharp. Makes it seem that being old might not be so bad after all.

    • l

    • @IMightBeBiased Well, for a majority of people, it sadly is.

    • Can we please have a whole "Tom Scott & Lovelock" series, where they discuss whatever topic they find interesting?

    • @Yab I think its a case of use it or lose it.

  • I only watched this a few days ago and have just seen today’s news headline that James Lovelock has sadly passed away on his 103rd birthday. I’m so glad you were able to interview him.

  • Your 101 scientist is absolutely a lovely person. I'm so pleased that you had a chance to meet him. I find your shows such a pleasure and your dedication for being as accurate as possible a pleasure. Thank you for the knowledge and entertaining way you present it.

  • thank you for interviewing and sharing james story with millions! his life shall forever live on thanks to you tom

  • What a fantastic story. It must have been brilliant to meet Lovelock before his passing.

  • I love that 70 years later he remembered so many details.

  • Imagine being a top of the line scientist, doing all kinds of research, contributing a lot of things to science and then somebody knocks your door asking "Sir did you, by any chance, microwave hamsters?"

    • Probably makes you think "finally, I get to talk about that instead of Mars for once"

    • Dimi dimi bende aynısını düşünüyordum reis :D

    • Me: 6:26 👁👄👁

    • @Iiii Vvvv That sounds very real.

    • @Gold Zero Adam bir saat adamın yaptığı araştırmayı anlattı, neden öyle birşey düşündün?

  • By the Universe, you good Sir delivered on your promise, that was fascinating. It was magical to watch the gentleman exude a pure love of science. Not only that, I only know of two people other than this gentleman who can raise the dead, and they’re kinda the same person. That was incredible that the hamsters survived.

  • Loved that interview with James. His recall was amazing, thanks for sharing the interview and obituary.

  • Tom Scott doesn't have to "promise" that any video he puts up will be interesting. Interest & passion for any topic exudes from his face & is a joy to watch, & learn something along the way.

  • This is genuinely fascinating. I had no idea that reanimation from complete freezing was possible at all.

  • This was inspiring. Thanks Tom, great work. I wonder how you found him. I'm never able to find anything about the writers on some old law papers. Maybe he wasn't that hard to find.

  • Mr. Lovelock seems just so happy to be talking about this, it’s heartwarming and inspiring that he’s still so passionate after so many decades.

    • Meanwhile a lot of 20 year olds seem withered and disinterested and cold.

    • @fex144 Don't need to call me out like that

    • @fex144 I wonder why that is. Almost as if current times seem to offer less freedom to do stuff like being a "scientist" (scientist as an occupation, like Tom pointed out)

    • Ha....heartwarming.

  • Him seeing and knowing that there is a ton of people interested in his experiments gave him joy

  • R.I.P James Lovelock your work contributed so much to science, you’ll be missed :(

    • He looked incredible and still had his wits about him at 101 years old.

  • I love how happy and enthusiastically he spoke of his experiences and being soo pleased to share them. I hope I'm as sharp as him at that age. RIP James

  • It's like you 'reanimated' him by letting him talk and showing a genuine interest in his experiments of the 1950s. What a remarkable fellow.

  • My mind was blown by this video. It's hard to believe that experiment worked. The interview with the still-sharp 101-year-old was incredible too.

  • Can we just appreciate the fact that Tom Scott got this amazing interview with this legend. I bet we would never had the right answer without him!

    • Best ID-tvr without exception..

    • I'm envious. Dr. Lovelock seems absolutely charming. It would be a pleasure to listen to him talk for hours.

    • I'm thrilled that the guy at his age has such a sharp mind and is able to recall these things so clearly.

  • Not only interesting but I'm blown away the guy was still alive and you were lucky enough to speak with him. This is top tier ID-tv.

  • Rest in peace to him, still an incredible video, incredibly timed

  • I loved this video. You absolutely made James Lovelock's day. He's darling. As a novelist, I've included a Faraday cage in one of my books. I was blown away by how many people reacted with, "A what?" I've enjoyed telling them that they probably have one in their homes.

  • A truly amazing story and one that I hope everyone agrees needed to be more widely shared. Condolences to Sir Lovelocks family and friends.

  • You can see his face light up as he talks about his crazy scientific experiments, what an incredible human being

  • 100 years old James Lovelock is better at recalling stories than me at my 20s

    • This is exactly what I was thinking. How lucky you must be to be that clear of thought at such an age!

    • you have 20 ? you look like 45 already

    • lets be honest. his stories are more interesting and memorable than just about all of out stories combined

    • you cant just simply forget such story

    • @Luiz damn you didnt need to murder him

  • thanks for capturing this interview before he passed. You may have saved this bit of history from relegation to myth and legend.

  • This is not only interesting, it is a lovely story. Thanks Tom.

  • That fact his mind was so sharp at that age is amazing. Big science brain kept on trucking

  • A truly fascinating individual! May he rest in peace

  • My dad was the local electronics engineer in our area and supplied microwaves to local chip shops. He got called out to one when they were complaining about it taking longer to heat food. It was a small chip shop and they didn't have space to open the microwave door so just cut the window and front mesh out. As far as I know no-one got organs cooked but it was a bit dodgy.

  • The guy casually exposed himself to unshielded microwave radiation in his youth and is still strolling down the beach at 101

    • The wavelength of microwave radiation are too big (≈1cm) to cause much harm

    • Best summary of the guy till now

    • @Karthik Sashank Warning: Still do not try this without proper shielding and protection. Don't do this at home either.

    • Microwaves are not ionising radiation, there isn't any hidden underlying damage like with nuclear radiation. It's like standing near a furnace, you're either obviously hurt, or you're fine

    • Whaaat he's 101?! Damn. I thought he's like 80 xD

  • That was, as promised, very interesting. Science always fascinates me but I often don't have a big enough brain to absorb all the lingo. You did a great job of making it easily understood and fascinating.

  • Mr. Lovelock is a treasure. Watching him reminisce about what was clearly good times for him, and simultaneously an important discovery in multiple ways. Thank you for all the contributions you've made to our collective knowledge.

  • Extremely sharp and mind active at 101yrs old, memories still there almost intact. This is amazing. I hope this video gets saved for posterity forever. Bet you made him so very happy! You can see how pleased he is to talk about it ❤

  • I have watched Lovelock in a documentary called "Going Circular" on a flight recently and it was kind of centered around his Gaia Theory and they did mention the NASA story and his electron capturing inventions resulting in finding CFC in the atmosphere and finding out about the Ozone Hole, but nowhere was it mentioned about this interesting microwave story. I believe that is why he got this excited. I mean, he would be excited regardless, I think. Anyways, he is a great protaganist scientist/inventor for that documentary as well as this story in this video.

  • how lucky you and we are, that Lovelock was still alive at the time and that we could get an interview from him !

  • I'm grateful that a legend like him is still with us at 101 years old!

    • Absolute legend

    • Its him again, hello how are you everywhere?

    • Tom you definitely need to do an extended interview with this fine gentleman.

    • Tom?

    • Oh nevermind

  • Thank you so much for saving and recording this awesome historically interesting story.

  • Amazing story!!! Thank you for hard work, and thank you Mr. James

  • The interview with the scientist was pure gold! 👍

  • Wow what a charismatic old guy! RIP just leaded that he passed very recently, with his work he most likely impacted almost everyone's quality of life, absolute legend

  • I appreciate your citations! and as always, love your well researched videos....

  • The shock and joy of James being alive at 101 was the best part of this.

    • And still walking on the Beach and writing books!

    • Can confirm: my heart is smiling with joy... big time! 🥰

    • Born in 1919 Me: Awh that's a shame would've liked a conversation Tom: At 101... Me: What!?

    • Imagine Tom's shock and joy of finding this out. "What? He's still alive?! .............may I interview him? Please........?"

    • I want to be a scientist. All that radiation and stupid stuff must be really good for your body! :D

  • This was such an interesting video. I was sad when it ended!!! Condolences to James’family.

  • Thank you Mr LoveLock for helping people burn popcorn for the past 40 years

    • 😁

    • And ballistic ID-tv channels blow them up!!💣

    • This didn't happen in the 80s

  • Yes - this story was truly interesting and you did a nice job laying it out - I started my engineering career in the ‘80s mostly with RF but also programming in machine language assembler - the progression of knowledge, expertise & practical applications from then to now is truly astonishing - working around RF and satellite dishes all those years my colleagues often asked each other a common question “do you have any Sons?” - the answer is usually “no, I have all daughters” - the informal theory among this trade is that we all get “cooked” a bit in such a way that affects our ability to reproduce. (We are not biologists, so we have no idea if this theory holds water)

  • All I can say is Tom did deliver on his promise!😅

  • 5:03 When I heard that he invented the Electron Capture Detector, my ears perked up, no one knows what those are, except chemistry geeks and “scientists” 😂 Used them daily for years! Fantastic invention!

  • I love how happy lovelock is telling this story. He’s just so happy to share his science with the world

    • Could you imagine being phoned up by somebody who's really interested in hearing about something you worked on 60 years ago?

    • "Yes I'd like to talk to you about hamsters. For my ID-tv Channel. With the microwaves, yes."

    • It was a joy to watch

    • *his inventions 😄

    • Oh ya that was absolutely wonderful, his sly smile when talking about light bulbs turning on and things catching on fire was awesome

  • He does actually mention his microwave in one of the Gaia books. He was using it to warm-up his lunch.

  • Immense respect for this episode in special, thank you dearly.

  • This is so heart warming and I am not sitting anywhere near a microwave!