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cathode-ray tube

[kath-ohd-rey] /ˈkæθ oʊdˌreɪ/
a vacuum tube generating a focused beam of electrons that can be deflected by electric fields, magnetic fields, or both. The terminus of the beam is visible as a spot or line of luminescence caused by its impinging on a sensitized screen at one end of the tube. Cathode-ray tubes were formerly commonly used to study the shapes of electric waves, to reproduce images in television receivers, to display alphanumeric and graphical information on computer monitors, as an indicator in radar sets, etc.
Abbreviation: CRT.
Origin of cathode-ray tube
1900-05 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for cathode ray tube

cathode-ray tube

a valve in which a beam of high-energy electrons is focused onto a fluorescent screen to give a visible spot of light. The device, with appropriate deflection equipment, is used in television receivers, visual display units, oscilloscopes, etc CRT
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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cathode ray tube in Science
cathode-ray tube  

A sealed tube in which electrons are emitted by a heated, negatively charged element (the cathode), and travel in a beam toward a positively charged plate (the anode). Depending on the properties of the plate and the speed of the electrons, cathode-ray tubes can generate x-rays, visible light, and other frequencies of electromagnetic radiation. They are central to most television screens, in which the electron beams form images on a phosphor-coated screen.

Our Living Language  : Cathode-ray tubes (CRTs), also called electron-ray tubes, provide the visual display in such devices as conventional television sets, computer monitors, hospital heart monitors, and laboratory oscilloscopes. CRTs are generally made of funnel-shaped glass vacuum tubes. At the larger end of the tube is a phosphor-coated screen, and at the other end is an electron gun. The gun consists of a heated cathode, or negative electrode, which emits electrons, and a control grid, which controls the intensity of the beam of electrons to vary the brightness of the image. The gun directs the electron beam, or cathode ray, toward the screen, where a positively charged anode attracts the electrons. Outside the tube, coils creating a magnetic field or plates creating an electric field both focus and steer the beam. Wherever the beam strikes the screen, it causes the phosphors to glow. Shapes and images can be formed by manipulating the beam so that its focal point on the screen sweeps across it in various paths and with different brightness. In most CRTs, the beam follows a zigzag path that covers the entire screen many times per second. Color screens use three separate beams that strike three individually colored phosphor cells (having the three primary colors red, blue, and green) that are very close together. The color combinations appear to the eye (at a distance to the screen) as one point of a single color.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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cathode ray tube in Culture
cathode-ray tube (CRT)

A device that can produce an image on a screen with electrical impulses.

Note: The standard television screen is a sophisticated CRT, as are some of the screens on which computer output is displayed. Increasingly, flat-panel displays are replacing CRTs.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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cathode ray tube in Technology

(CRT) An electrical device for displaying images by exciting phosphor dots with a scanned electron beam. CRTs are found in computer VDUs and monitors, televisions and oscilloscopes. The first commercially practical CRT was perfected on 29 January 1901 by Allen B DuMont.
A large glass envelope containing a negative electrode (the cathode) emits electrons (formerly called "cathode rays") when heated, as in a vacuum tube. The electrons are accelerated across a large voltage gradient toward the flat surface of the tube (the screen) which is covered with phosphor. When an electron strikes the phosphor, light is emitted. The electron beam is deflected by electromagnetic coils around the outside of the tube so that it scans across the screen, usually in horizontal stripes. This scan pattern is known as a raster. By controlling the current in the beam, the brightness at any particular point (roughly a "pixel") can be varied.
Different phosphors have different "persistence" - the length of time for which they glow after being struck by electrons. If the scanning is done fast enough, the eye sees a steady image, due to both the persistence of the phospor and of the eye itself. CRTs also differ in their dot pitch, which determines their spatial resolution, and in whether they use interlace or not.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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