fluorescent lamp

noun
a tubular electric discharge lamp in which light is produced by the fluorescence of phosphors coating the inside of the tube.

Origin:
1895–1900

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World English Dictionary
fluorescent lamp
 
n
1.  a type of lamp in which an electrical gas discharge is maintained in a tube with a thin layer of phosphor on its inside surface. The gas, which is often mercury vapour, emits ultraviolet radiation causing the phosphor to fluoresce
2.  a type of lamp in which an electrical discharge is maintained in a tube containing a gas such as neon, mercury vapour, or sodium vapour at low pressure. Gas atoms in the discharge are struck by electrons and fluoresce

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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
fluorescent lamp   (fl-rěs'ənt)  Pronunciation Key 


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An electric lamp that produces light through fluorescence. In most fluorescent lamps, a mixture of argon and mercury gas contained in a glass bulb is stimulated by an electric current, producing ultraviolet rays. These rays strike a fluorescent phosphor coating on the interior surface of the bulb, causing it to emit visible light. Fluorescent lamps are much more efficient than incandescent lamps because very little energy is lost as heat. Compare incandescent lamp.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Also called compact fluorescent lamp cone: noun: hill created by a volcanic
  eruption.
Do not use small commercially available drum-type fluorescent lamp crushers.
Ballasts are needed to start and control the current flowing through a
  fluorescent lamp.
The efficiency of a fluorescent lamp ballast changes depending on the type of
  lamp operated.
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