Abstract

An intense Hopfield continuum having relatively stable average intensity with time, few superimposed emission lines, and low scattered light, has been obtained in the 600–1100 Å region from a helium gas discharge. A mild condensed gas discharge produces the continuum at an optimum pressure of about 40 mm Hg. The discharge circuit contains an external series spark gap, which is air blown and irradiated with a mercury lamp to improve its stability. After warm-up, the slow drift in intensity of the system over 4 hr is about 3%. Details of construction and operation are discussed, and initial results showing the use of this source to obtain absorption coefficients of gases by photoelectric scanning are presented.

© 1963 Optical Society of America

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