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Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by Damien, Apr 20, 2015.

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  1. Damien


    Jan 28, 2015
    Hey hey

    Just doing a little research on electrons to try and understand how a fluorescent light tube works.

    From what I can fathom, an "ion" is an electrically charged group of atoms that can be either negatively charged or hold a positive charge. A "cation" A.K.A "positive ion" is a positively charged ion due to a deficiency in electrons which makes the ion attracted to the cathode inside a mercury filled glass tube (Possibly in a vacuum to reduce resistance?)

    On the other hand an "Anion" A.K.A "Negative ion" is a negatively charged ion which is the result of an abundance of electrons within the ion and is therefore attracted to the anode inside the tube and this results in the electrons in the gas to emit photons at U.V frequencies which is just pure u.v light that can be seen reacting with the phosphorus found in washing powder that is left over as residue on clothes and the like (Only know that last bit from Stephen Hawkins "The theory of everything")
    Anyhow so the tube is then coated on the inside with phosphor which makes the u.v light transform into a light that is in a spectrum that can be seen with the human eye usually 2700 to 6400k a.k.a (Warm white/cool white) spectrum for the majority of commercial U.V lighting.

    Does this type of thing fall under the category of quantum physics? I hope this is ok to post in an electronics forum I just figured the two are kind of intertwining? o_O

    Is this correct?
  2. hevans1944

    hevans1944 Hop - AC8NS

    Jun 21, 2012
    Some of it is correct. Anions and cations are normally associated with electro-chemistry. They have virtually nothing to do with how fluorescent lamps work. Read this Wikipedia article for an overview of how fluorescent lamps work. The "spectrum" of 2700K to 6400K refers to the apparent "color temperature" of the lamp as seen by the human eye. The color temperature is what is observed when an incandescent black body radiator is heated to the indicated temperature. It is a broad-spectrum radiation, which a fluorescent lamp DOES NOT produce. The spectrum of light from a fluorescent tube is not uniform but occurs with sharp peaks at characteristic wavelengths determined by the particular phosphors that coat the inside of the tube. You can view the spectrum produced by various fluorescent lamps here. How each lamp spectrum is interpreted by human vision as having a particular "color" is a complicated, albeit fascinating, subject not directly related to electronics.
    Damien and ADRT like this.
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