Abstract

A general technique for analyzing complicated gas discharges has been developed and applied to the Hg + Ar (fluorescent lamp) discharge. The theoretical model includes electron excitation and deexcitation, two-state ionization through a saturated metastable level, and proper treatment of the self-absorption of the resonance radiation. The analysis yields simple analytic expressions for the electron temperature, the resonance radiation, and the electric field. When applied to Hg + Ar discharges, these analytic expressions yield good quantitative agreement with the available absolute data on the dependence of the electron temperature, the Hg 2537-Å radiation, and the electric field on mercury pressure and current.

© 1982 Optical Society of America

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