Fluorescent lights, ok, you've all seen them. Chances are you've even turned the odd one on, or off. Or both. Could be you've even had one flickering at home and done nothing about it, just never turned it on again. But you know what the best thing is about fluoros? No? Well, they're gold for explaining inductive spikes. Transistor outputs, clamping diodes, interposing relays, hydraulic solenoids. V = L di/dt, is what I'm saying. Keep it in mind.
And, yes, they work without the capacitor.