Download Cathode ray deflection tube

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Cathode ray deflection tube
It is possible to find out a lot about cathode rays by using a deflection tube like the one
drawn in Figure 1.
electron beam
hitting fluorescent
electron gun
12 V
3000 V
Figure 1
The electron gun shoots out a beam of electrons across an evacuated tube. It hits a
fluorescent screen placed in its path and when it does the screen glows. If there is no voltage
between the two plates the beam will go along the middle of the scale.
Beams of electrons (cathode rays) move in straight lines in a vacuum when there is no
electric or magnetic field.
If a voltage is applied across the plates with the bottom plate positive, the electron beam will
be attracted downwards towards the positive plate showing that the beam really is made up
of negative particles. If the top plate is made positive the beam will be attracted upwards.
(Figure 2)
12 V
3000 V
Figure 2
The path of the electrons in an electric field is a parabola.
A bar magnet can now be held at the side of the tube and you will see that the beam of
electrons is deflected up or down depending which way round you hold the magnet. The
same thing will happen of course if you use an electromagnet (see Figure 3).
Magnetic field at right
angles to the paper
12 V
3000 V
Figure 3
The path of the electrons in a magnetic field is a circle.
If you increase the anode voltage, then the electrons will be given more energy and so will
move faster. They will therefore be more difficult to deflect by electric or magnetic fields.