Plasma inside a light bulb?

  • #1
466
5
http://i.imgur.com/bLUjP0Q.jpg

is something like this even possible in a light bulb? i thought the interior was supposed to be a vacuum.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
D H
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Insights Author
15,393
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i thought the interior was supposed to be a vacuum.
The thin glass used in a typical incandescent light bulb is not near strong enough to sustain a vacuum. Incandescent bulbs are filled with inert gases to about 70% atmospheric pressure.
 
  • #4
vk6kro
Science Advisor
4,081
40
The lights at the back of a car include a combined rear light / brake light bulb.

Usually this is replaced when one of the lamp filaments burns out.

This gives you a chance to experiment since you now have a working filament and a disconnected wire which will work as an anode if the filament is supplied with its normal voltage. It will work as a diode if the bulb is under vacuum or as a plasma display if it contains gas.

Local repair shops usually discard such bulbs but would probably save you a few if you ask.
 

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