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cold cathode[′kōld ′kath‚ōd]
A cathode whose operation does not depend on its temperature being above the ambient temperature.
cold cathodeA cathode in a gas-filled electron tube that is not heated by a filament in order to excite the electrons and cause current flow. The voltage potential within the tube is sufficient to ionize the gas in the tube and cause current flow. For example, the backlights in many flat panel LCD screens are cold cathode fluorescent tubes (see CCFL). See cathode.