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One tube Marked 6132 for Helium. One Marked 6130 for Nitrogen. The others marked Oxegen Hydrogen and Carbon Dioxide. Heinrich Geissler (1814-1879) The Geissler tube is a glass tube for demonstrating the principles of electrical glow discharge. The tube was invented by the German physicist and glass-blower Heinrich Geissler in 1857. The Geissler tube was an evacuated glass cylinder with an electrode at each end, it would contain one or more of the following rarefied (thinned) gasses, such as neon, argon, or air, mercury or other conductive liquids, or ionizable minerals or metals, such as sodium. When a high voltage is applied to the terminals, an electrical current flows through the tube. The current will disassociate electrons from the gas molecules, creating ions, and when electrons recombine with the ions, different lighting effects are created. The light will be characteristic of the material contained within the tube and will be composed of one or more narrow spectral lines. The museum has several Geissler Tubes which can be demonstrated.

Your comments:

  • I would call these spectrum tubes or gas discharge tubes. Geissler tubes are decorative tubes, some made to go on a geissler rotator, either Wheatstone or Froment motor driven.
    .......... Nick Mitchener, UK, 20th of January 2022

  • Wow! We still use these exact tubes in secondary education today!
    .......... Debi P, London, 9th of July 2021

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