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How does a fluorescent light work

  1. Jul 11, 2003 #1
    My fluorescent light stops working but I could fire it up by plugging or unplugging a cellular handphone charger form a neighboring socket! This means the tube is still ok as all it needs is some high p.d. across it - in this case provided by thehigh electromagnetically induced emf caused by plugging/unplugging the charger.

    Upon opening it up I found only a capacitor connected to the tube. There is no "starter" as in normal fluorescent lights.

    Can someone explain how this works.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 13, 2003 #2

    Dx

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    It has a gas inside the tube which when introduced by AC it excites the gas to produce light
     
  4. Jul 14, 2003 #3
    How does a Fluorescent Light Work

    I thing the question is:

    Without a starter and having only a capacitor, how is the lamp "fired up"?
     
  5. Jul 14, 2003 #4

    Doc

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    Although I don't know how your light starts BH, I do know that it is NOT actually the gas that causes the light. The gas produces an invisible type of radiation that causes the phosphor coated on the sides of the tube to glow.
     
  6. Jul 14, 2003 #5

    russ_watters

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    Staff: Mentor

    UV.
     
  7. Jul 16, 2003 #6

    Dx

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    its the gas!
     
  8. Jul 16, 2003 #7

    Doc

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    The gas produces UV like Russ said. The UV excites the phosphor and causes it to glow. The different color tubes are made by different types of phophor. The gas is required, but does not actually glow visible light that we can see.
     
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