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Stream of electrons leaving the negative electrode, or cathode, in an evacuated or gas-filled discharge tube or emitted by a heated filament in certain electron tubes. Cathode rays cause fluorescent materials to luminesce and are utilized in cathode-ray oscilloscopes and television tubes (seecathode-ray tube).
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on cathode ray, visit Britannica.com.