LINDA PHILLIPS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LINDA PHILLIPS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Tungsten light bulb. Electric light bulb switched on showing its burning tungsten filament. The illuminated part of the bulb is a coil of tungsten wire one hundredth of a millimetre thick with a melting temperature of approximately 2860 Celsius. When electricity flows through the filament, it becomes incandescent without melting due to its high fusion temperature. Oxygen has been removed from inside the bulb in order to prevent the oxidation of the tungsten wire and is replaced with an argon-nitrogen inert mixture. Gradually, however, the metal filament evaporates and after a lifetime of about 1000 hours it will break.
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