Could a fluorescent tube be made of clear glass to emit more light?

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Offline lennie

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Can one have a clear tube and therefor more light?
« Last Edit: 13/04/2008 21:43:51 by chris »

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Offline graham.d

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No. The definition of a fluorescent tube is that it relies on fluorescence. The discharge in the tube produces UV light which then is absorbed by the fluorescent coating and re-emitted in the visible spectrum. You can have clear discharge emissions, like a sodium light for example, but then there is no fluorescence involved.

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Offline techmind

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No. The definition of a fluorescent tube is that it relies on fluorescence. The discharge in the tube produces UV light which then is absorbed by the fluorescent coating and re-emitted in the visible spectrum. You can have clear discharge emissions, like a sodium light for example, but then there is no fluorescence involved.

I've got a "clear" tube - it gives off a sky-blue light... and lots of ultraviolet. This is the natural colour of the (mercury) discharge. If I had more time I'd do you a nice photograph!

As Graham says, they put the white phosphor on the tube to convert that ultraviolet to visible. The visible light you see from a fluorescent tube is generated in the white coating on the inside of the glass - and is much brighter than the bluey/UV "inside" light would be.
"It has been said that the primary function of schools is to impart enough facts to make children stop asking questions. Some, with whom the schools do not succeed, become scientists." - Schmidt-Nielsen "Memoirs of a curious scientist"