CHARLES D. WINTERS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CHARLES D. WINTERS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Electric light bulb. The glass bulb seals a metal filament (centre) under an inert gas, usually an argon-nitrogen mixture. The screw fitting (bottom centre) connects the bulb to an electric current that flows through the filament. This filament is made of tungsten, a high-melting point metal (that melts at 3410 degrees Celsius). The filament heats up as the current passes through it, and glows to light up the surroundings through the transparent casing. Although protected from the oxygen in the atmosphere, the tungsten metal still evaporates, and the filament eventually breaks.
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