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The Development of Theories of the Electrical Breakdown of Gases

  • F. Llewellyn-Jones
Part of the NATO Advanced Science Institutes Series book series (NSSB, volume 89a)

Abstract

In its normal state a gas is almost a perfect insulator and in everyday life is used as such. Under certain conditions, however, when an electric field is established between two electrodes, of intensity dependent upon their geometry and the gas properties, the gas can become an almost perfect conductor. The transition from insulating to conducting states is an electrical discharge known as the electrical breakdown of the gas or spark. An outstanding feature of this process is that for most geometries the interelectrode potential difference at which this transition occurs can be highly critical, and electrical technology as we know it is dependent on this fact. This critical potential difference is known as the breakdown potential VS of the gas for that particular electrode system. In practice, it is the lowest potential difference at which breakdown can occur providing initiating electrons are present.

Keywords

Space Charge Cathode Surface Electrical Breakdown Uniform Field Metastable Atom 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Llewellyn-Jones
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WalesSwanseaUK

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