Cathode ray tube

Cathode ray tube as found in an oscilloscope
Cutaway rendering of a color CRT:
1. Three electron emitters (for red, green, and blue phosphor dots)
2. Electron beams
3. Focusing coils
4. Deflection coils
5. Connection for second anode (referred to as the "ultor" in some receiving tube manuals)
6. Mask for separating beams for red, green, and blue part of displayed image
7. Phosphor layer (screen)with red, green, and blue zones
8. Close-up of the phosphor-coated inner side of the screen

The cathode ray tube (CRT) is a vacuum tube that contains one or more electron guns and a phosphorescent screen, and is used to display images. [1] It modulates, accelerates, and deflects electron beam(s) onto the screen to create the images. The images may represent electrical waveforms ( oscilloscope), pictures (television, computer monitor), radar targets, or others. CRTs have also been used as memory devices, in which case the visible light emitted from the fluorescent material (if any) is not intended to have significant meaning to a visual observer (though the visible pattern on the tube face may cryptically represent the stored data).

In television sets and computer monitors, the entire front area of the tube is scanned repetitively and systematically in a fixed pattern called a raster. An image is produced by controlling the intensity of each of the three electron beams, one for each additive primary color (red, green, and blue) with a video signal as a reference. [2] In all modern CRT monitors and televisions, the beams are bent by magnetic deflection, a varying magnetic field generated by coils and driven by electronic circuits around the neck of the tube, although electrostatic deflection is commonly used in oscilloscopes, a type of electronic test instrument. [2]

A 14-inch cathode ray tube showing its deflection coils and electron guns
Typical 1950s United States monochrome television set
A flat CRT assembly inside a 1984 Sinclair FTV1 pocket TV
Electron gun

A CRT is constructed from a glass envelope which is large, deep (i.e., long from front screen face to rear end), fairly heavy, and relatively fragile. The interior of a CRT is evacuated to approximately 0.01 Pa [3] to 133 nPa., [4] evacuation being necessary to facilitate the free flight of electrons from the gun(s) to the tube's face. That it is evacuated makes handling an intact CRT potentially dangerous due to the risk of breaking the tube and causing a violent implosion that can hurl shards of glass at great velocity. As a matter of safety, the face is typically made of thick lead glass so as to be highly shatter-resistant and to block most X-ray emissions, particularly if the CRT is used in a consumer product.

Since the late 2000s, CRTs have been largely superseded by newer " flat panel" display technologies such as LCD, plasma display, and OLED displays, which in the case of LCD and OLED displays have lower manufacturing costs and power consumption, as well as significantly less weight and bulk. Flat panel displays can also be made in very large sizes; whereas 38" to 40" was about the largest size of a CRT television, flat panels are available in 60" and larger sizes.


Braun's original cold-cathode CRT, 1897

Cathode rays were discovered by Johann Hittorf in 1869 in primitive Crookes tubes. He observed that some unknown rays were emitted from the cathode (negative electrode) which could cast shadows on the glowing wall of the tube, indicating the rays were traveling in straight lines. In 1890, Arthur Schuster demonstrated cathode rays could be deflected by electric fields, and William Crookes showed they could be deflected by magnetic fields. In 1897, J. J. Thomson succeeded in measuring the mass of cathode rays, showing that they consisted of negatively charged particles smaller than atoms, the first " subatomic particles", which were later named electrons. The earliest version of the CRT was known as the "Braun tube", invented by the German physicist Ferdinand Braun in 1897. [5] [6] It was a cold-cathode diode, a modification of the Crookes tube with a phosphor-coated screen.

The first cathode ray tube to use a hot cathode was developed by John B. Johnson (who gave his name to the term Johnson noise) and Harry Weiner Weinhart of Western Electric, and became a commercial product in 1922. [7]

In 1925, Kenjiro Takayanagi demonstrated a CRT television that received images with a 40-line resolution. [8] By 1927, he improved the resolution to 100 lines, which was unrivaled until 1931. [9] By 1928, he was the first to transmit human faces in half-tones on a CRT display. [10] By 1935, he had invented an early all-electronic CRT television. [11]

It was named in 1929 by inventor Vladimir K. Zworykin, [12] who was influenced by Takayanagi's earlier work. [10] RCA was granted a trademark for the term (for its cathode ray tube) in 1932; it voluntarily released the term to the public domain in 1950. [13]

The first commercially made electronic television sets with cathode ray tubes were manufactured by Telefunken in Germany in 1934. [14] [15]

Other Languages
azərbaycanca: Elektron-şüa borusu
беларуская: Кінескоп
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Кінэскоп
bosanski: Katodni monitor
čeština: Obrazovka
dansk: Billedrør
Esperanto: Bildotubo
français: Tube cathodique
한국어: 음극선관
Հայերեն: Կինեսկոպ
hrvatski: Katodna cijev
Bahasa Indonesia: Tabung sinar katode
íslenska: Bakskautslampi
Kreyòl ayisyen: Tib katodik
Bahasa Melayu: Tiub sinar katod
Nederlands: Kathodestraalbuis
日本語: ブラウン管
norsk bokmål: Bilderør
română: Tub catodic
Simple English: Cathode ray tube
slovenščina: Katodna cev
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Katodni monitor
suomi: Kuvaputki
Tiếng Việt: Ống tia âm cực