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Light, current and Lightbulbs

  1. Apr 29, 2009 #1
    How does the light bulb work exactly? Does the current that does through the tungstern, or whatever material is used, collide with the elections in the resistor and push then up to a higher energy state? And when the electrons naturally fall back down to their ground state, the energy is released in the from of photons?
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  3. Apr 29, 2009 #2

    Andy Resnick

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    In an incandescent bulb, the electrical current heats the filament. The thermal light given off is due to a variety of processes, but electron transistion are not generally one of them- the energies are much higher than those present in vibrational and rotational transitions. there's also a lot of chemistry involved, including the fact that the filament 'self heals' as W atoms are boiled off from some locations and migrate to hotter (thinner) parts of the filament.
  4. Apr 29, 2009 #3


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    Please note that there have been several threads here that have dealt with the same question. Read this, for example:


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