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ERIC Number: EJ1162314
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jan
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0031-9120
The Photoluminescence of a Fluorescent Lamp: Didactic Experiments on the Exponential Decay
Onorato, Pasquale; Gratton, Luigi; Malgieri, Massimiliano; Oss, Stefano
Physics Education, v52 n1 Article 015011 Jan 2017
The lifetimes of the photoluminescent compounds contained in the coating of fluorescent compact lamps are usually measured using specialised instruments, including pulsed lasers and/or spectrofluorometers. Here we discuss how some low cost apparatuses, based on the use of either sensors for the educational lab or commercial digital photo cameras, can be employed to the same aim. The experiments do not require that luminescent phosphors are hazardously extracted from the compact fluorescent lamp, that also contains mercury. We obtain lifetime measurements for specific fluorescent elements of the bulb coating, in good agreement with the known values. We also address the physical mechanisms on which fluorescence lamps are based in a simplified way, suitable for undergraduate students; and we discuss in detail the physics of the lamp switch-off by analysing the time dependent spectrum, measured through a commercial fiber-optic spectrometer. Since the experiment is not hazardous in any way, requires a simple setup up with instruments which are commonly found in educational labs, and focuses on the typical features of the exponential decay, it is suitable for being performed in the undergraduate laboratory.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A