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What is this gear?

  1. Dec 20, 2012 #1
    I have found these. gathering dust on the shelf in the lab. pictures are attached. first item is some sort of lamp that glows red inside a metal tube. the second item is a rack with a tuning fork clamped to it with at sharp metal prong attached to one of the tuning fork tines anybody out there know what these things are?

    Figured out my first item is a sodium lamp. How about the weird tuning fork jig?

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 21, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 21, 2012 #2


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    Stay away from my doomsday device!
  4. Dec 21, 2012 #3


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    The first one looks like a mercury lamp. Though, they tend to glow yellowish blue, if that makes any sense. Sodium lamp would also fit. They are more orange. Could fit the "red" glow you describe. I suppose, it could be any number of other elements as well, but these two are most common in labs.
  5. Dec 21, 2012 #4
    Thanks, you could be right. There is a clip to put some sort of slide over the square opening I suppose. Maybe a diffraction grating? The lamp is very dim and takes a few seconds to warm up and is definitely reddish almost like a tiny toaster element inside a bulb.
  6. Dec 21, 2012 #5
    I let the thing warm up and it looks like the red coil is only the heater. After about 5 min it is now a nice warm yellow glow in the whole tube. It must be a sodium lamp! Thanks again. I just didn't leave it on long enough, kind of afraid it might blow up though. It looks pretty cool!

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