When a Coolidge tube is operated for some time it becomes hot. Where does the heat come from?
A Coolidge tube apparatus consists of a filament and a target. The filament is heated to produce electrons that are accelerated by applying an electric field between the filament and the target. When these accelerated electrons enter the target, they collide with the target atoms. In the process, the electrons lose their kinetic energy. A part of this kinetic energy is utilised for emitting X-rays and the remaining energy is absorbed by the target. Inside the target, the kinetic energy of the electrons is converted into heat energy. This raises the temperature of the target and hence, it heats the Coolidge tube.