The cathode ray tube (CRT) is a vacuum tube containing an electron gun (a source of electrons or electron emitter) and a fluorescent screen used to view images. It has a means to accelerate and deflect the electron beam(s) onto the fluorescent screen to create the images. The image may represent electrical waveforms (oscilloscope), pictures (television, computer monitor), radar targets and others. CRTs have also been used as memory devices, in which case the visible light emitted from the fluoresecent material (if any) is not intended to have significant meaning to a visual observer (though the visible pattern on the tube face may cryptically represent the stored data).
The CRT uses an evacuated glass envelope which is large, deep (i.e. long from front screen face to rear end), fairly heavy, and relatively fragile. As a matter of safety, the face is typically made of thick lead glass so as to be highly shatter-resistant and to block most X-ray emissions, particularly if the CRT is used in a consumer product.
The vacuum level inside the tube is ultra-high vacuum on the order of 0.01 Pa to 133 nPa.