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States of Matter

Introduction to one of the four states of matter where particles are tightly packed and have a definite shape and volume.

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What's in Your TV?

What's in Your TV?

Credit: Image Editor
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11304375@N07/2249104485
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

This picture shows the amazing light show called the northern lights. Do you have a plasma screen TV? If so, you have a mini version of the northern lights inside your TV!

The Back Story

  • Plasma screen TVs have gas-like plasma sandwiched between two glass plates in the screen. Plasma generates ultraviolet light and creates the picture on the TV screen.
  • Credit: Jari Laamanen
    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Plasma-display-composition.svg
    License: CC BY-NC 3.0

    The different parts of a plasma display panel [Figure2]

     

  • The problem is that the human eye can’t detect ultraviolet light. We can see only light in the visible range of the electromagnetic spectrum.
  • So how do we see the picture on a plasma screen TV? Watch the following video to find out: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Y6Aq2_Wrr4

Can You Apply It?

Learn more about plasma screen TVs at the link below. Then answer the questions that follow.

  1. What is plasma? How common is it?
  2. The plasma inside a plasma screen TV starts out as a mixture of gases. What gases are used?
  3. How are the gases changed to plasma? How does this work?
  4. Describe the cells inside a plasma TV screen. What coats the cells? Why are the cells coated?
  5. Each cell can produce red, green, and blue light. How are other colors of light produced? How many different colors of light can be produced in this way?

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Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: Image Editor; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11304375@N07/2249104485; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: Jari Laamanen; Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Plasma-display-composition.svg; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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