Production of high current particle beams by low pressure spark discharges

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Abstract

On the basis of low pressure spark discharges a new type of a particle accelerator as been developed. It produces pulsed ion as well as electron beams of high intensities in a gas atmosphere at pressures of the order of 1 mbar. The method was used to produce in hydrogene at particle energies of about 70 keV an electron beam with a current density of more than 106 A/cm2 at 140 A total current. It is shown that magnetic confinement by the pinch effect takes place in the discharge. Discharge times smaller than 5 ns and spark frequencies up to 2 MHz can be obtained.