Carbon button lamp

Carbon button lamp

The carbon button lamp is a single-electrode incandescent lamp invented by Nikola Tesla during his effort to get around the Edison patent for the incandescent light bulb. A carbon button lamp contains a small carbon sphere positioned in the center of an evacuated glass bulb. This type of lamp must be driven by high-frequency alternating current, and depends on an electric arc or perhaps a vacuum arc to produce high current around the carbon electrode. The carbon electrode is then heated to incandescence by collisions by ions which constitute the electric current. Tesla found that these lamps could be used as powerful sources of ionizing radiation.

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