Dont operate an empty oven if the introduction manual warns against this. In some ovens the magnetron tube can be damaged by unabsorbed energy. the microwaves are dispersed in the oven cavity and reflected by a stirrer fan so the microwaves are propagated in all directions. They are reflected by the metal sides of the oven cavity and absorbed by the food. Uniformity of heating in the food is usually assisted by having the food on a rotating turntable in the oven. Water molecules vibrate when they absorb microwave energy, and the friction between the molecules results in heating which cooks the food.