|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|
|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.