High Speed Pulse Breakdown of Pressurised Uniform Gaps

  • J. C. Martin
Part of the Advances in Pulsed Power Technology book series (APUT, volume 3)


Mr. Laird Bradley (1) has performed some nice experiments on pressurised nitrogen gaps, measuring their breakdown voltage for fast rising pulses. The results show breakdown fields considerably above the uniform field DC values. For instance, for a gap of 1/2 cm at 2 atmospheres pressure, the breakdown field is some 6 times the DC value. His note shows that this behaviour can be accounted for by assuming that a streamer transit phase occurs after a rather rapid Townsend avalanche phase and that the streamer time predominates over the latter. He fits a relation of the form Fd1/6t1/6 = ℓ to the data and derives the pressure dependency of ℓ. The values of ℓ fitting the experiments are some 3 times that applying to point plane data. The aim of this note is to estimate these values using the point plane streamer data and while it is to be expected that the fit to the data obtained will only be rather approximate, it may then be used to deduce trends.


Breakdown Field Capacitor Arrangement Pulse Breakdown Crude Theory Streamer Theory 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    L. Bradley, “Preionization Control of Streamer Propagation”, JAP, Vol. 43, No. 3, March 1972, p 886 (written after this note).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. C. Martin

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations