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X-Rays from TV set

X-Rays from TV set - Physics Forum

X-Rays from TV set - Physics Forum. Discuss and ask physics questions, kinematics and other physics problems.

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Old 12-27-2004, 08:50 AM
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Default X-Rays from TV set

I read somewhere that old TV sets may give off X-Ray. Why does this happen, and
what has been done to reduce or eliminate this?
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Old 12-27-2004, 11:01 AM
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Default X-Rays from TV set

"Aplin17" <[Only registered users see links. ]> wrote in message
news:[Only registered users see links. ].cs.com...
happen, and

The late John Nash Ott was rather a fanatic on this problem. He produced
the first time-lapse photographs of plants and spent his professional life
as a photographer carefully observing and recording the effects of light on
plants and animals, albeit his experiments were not well-controlled,
well-recorded or well-reported. If you can locate a copy of his monograph
"Health and Light", it is an interesting read.

[Only registered users see links. ]

He first noticed this problem in the 50's, and it grew in the 60's as color
TVs proliferated and the high-voltage electron beams were applied to a
larger variety of phosphors. He solved his problem by encasing his TV in a
lead-lined box pointed upwards with a complex mirror arrangement so that the
image could be viewed "normally" while the X-rays would pass through the
mirrors into the sky harmlessly. IMHO, he was a bit of an alarmist on this
issue, as the X-ray dosage was nowhere near what you would get from a
typical dental X-ray or from cosmic rays if you live in Colorado.

This happens because a high-energy beam of electrons is used to excite the
chemical phosphors that line the inside of a cathode ray tube. The
high-energy electrons energize electrons within some atoms and these
energized electrons release X-ray radiation when they return to lower energy
states. Some reduction in X-ray emissions has been accomplished by
selecting the phosphors more carefully and by incorporating other
'shielding' materials into the 'glass' of the display screen.

Plasma screens don't have this problem.

Tom Davidson
Richmond, VA

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set , xrays

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