Geissler Tube, an electron tube that is used to study the behavior of gases. It was invented in the 1860's by Heinrich Geissler, a German. The tube is made of glass, with an electrode at each end. Electricity is passed through a gas under low pressure within the tube; the color of the light produced depends on the kind of gas. Geissler tubes are used in physics demonstrations in high schools and colleges. They were forerunners of neon lights.
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The man who had some theories about relativity was also an eccentric who gleefully eschewed socks, dodged German military service and spurned social conventions.