The cathode ray tube (CRT), invented in 1897, is still the main component of most computer display monitors and television sets.
A CRT consists mostly of a specially-shaped vacuum tube that contains a screen coated with a thin film of phosphorous materials on the large end. A high-speed beam of electrons is shot from an electron gun on the other end. This beam moves back and forth across the screen at high speed, striking specific spots on the phosphor dots, causing them to glow and t thereby creating images visible to the human eye.
CRTs are one of the very few applications in which vacuum tubes are still widely used. In the last few years LCD (liquid crystal display) has become increasingly popular for computer monitors because it is much thinner and lighter in weight and uses far less electric power.
However, CRTs are still preferred for use in high performance computer games because of their very fast response speeds. They are also preferred by many in the printing industry because of their superior color fidelity and contrast.
Created September 27, 2005.