MLA Citation: Bloomfield, Louis A. "Question 385"
How Everything Works 23 Apr 2018. 23 Apr 2018 <http://howeverythingworks.org/print1.php?QNum=385>.
385. What happens when a fluorescent lamp flickers during start-up but doesn't fully light?
Sustaining the discharge in a gas lamp requires the steady production of charged particles. Even if a lamp contains many negatively charged electrons and positively charged ions, these particles will quickly migrate to the electrodes once electric fields are present in the tube. If they don't produce more charged particles as they fly across the tube, these charged particles will quickly disappear and the discharge will stop. It takes a critical number of charged particles in the tube to ensure a steady production of new charged particles. Thus the tube may not always start, even if it has a brief flicker of light.

Return to HowEverythingWork.org
Generated for printing on Monday, April 23, 2018 at 15:17:16 EDT
Copyright 1997-2018 © Louis A. Bloomfield, All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy