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Brits Invent Filament-Free Light Bulb

Mon, 06/25/2007 - 10:34am

ceravisionEnergy News: Replacing incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps is a simple way to save energy, but a new technology using microwave power may soon lead to traditional(-ish) bulbs that last for thousands of hours. According to The Economist, researchers at Ceravision are perfecting a bulb with no filament, and therefore there is nothing to burn out. Nor does it use any mercury. Explains the magazine, "It consists of a relatively small lump of aluminium oxide into which a hole has been bored. When the aluminium oxide is bombarded with microwaves generated from the same sort of device that powers a microwave oven, it generates a concentrated electric field in the void. If a cylindrical capsule containing a suitable gas is inserted into the hole, the atoms of the gas become ionised. As electrons accelerate in the electric field, they gain energy that they pass on to the atoms and molecules of the gas as they collide with them, creating a glowing plasma."

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