EXPERIMENTAL INVESTIGATION OF THE LOW-VOLTAGE ARC IN NOBLE GASES.
Final rept. (Part 4), 1 Jun 63-31 Dec 66,
MICHIGAN UNIV ANN ARBOR ELECTRON PHYSICS LAB
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The low-voltage arc mode of the hot-cathode discharge in noble gases was studied experimentally in planar geometry by means of guardringed Langmuir probes. Measurements show that if there is ample electron emission from the hot cathode two stable high-current, low-voltage discharge modes exist in the noble gases these are the low-voltage arc and the ball-of-fire mode. Neither mode is obtained in hydrogen. Measurements of the steady-state characteristics of the low-voltage arc were predominantly in neon xenon and argon were also investigated. The peak plasma potentials measured within the low-voltage arc were approximately 14, 6 and 4.5 volts for neon, argon and xenon, respectively. Measurements on the hot-cathode discharge in neon with small admixtures of hydrogen indicate that cumulative ionization is important for the generation of the low-voltage arc. The study of the effect of a Penning impurity upon the low-voltage arc indicates that less than 0.06 percent by volume of the Penning impurity affects the discharge plasma. Author
- Electric Power Production and Distribution
- Plasma Physics and Magnetohydrodynamics