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sodium-vapour lamp


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A form of electric lighting that gives a yellow light as a result of the luminous discharge obtained by the passage of a stream of electrons between tungsten electrodes in a tube containing sodium vapour. To facilitate starting, the tube also contains some neon; for this reason, until the lamp is warm the neon emits a characteristic pink glow. As the sodium vaporizes, the yellow light predominates. Sodium-vapour lamps are widely used as street lights because of their high luminous efficiency and because the yellow light is less absorbed than white light by fog and mist. Low-pressure sodium lamps emit a characteristic yellow light; in high-pressure lamps the atoms are sufficiently close to each other to interact and broaden the spectral lines into the orange and green regions.

Subjects: Physics.


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