Abstract

The vacuum ultraviolet continua of the rare gases helium (580–1100 Å), argon (1050–1550 Å), krypton (1250–1800 Å), and xenon (1480–2000 Å) have been excited in a condensed discharge using a recently developed thyratron modulator excitation unit which gives sufficient intensity for photoelectric scanning at a bandwidth of 0.25 Å. The optimum conditions for excitation have been studied. The continua excited in this manner have been compared with microwave-excited continua and found to be significantly more intense for argon and about the same intensity for krypton and xenon. It was not possible to obtain the helium continuum using microwave excitation. Time-resolved measurements of the light emission, current, and voltage made for these continua show that the light emission may begin either before or after the current pulse.

© 1965 Optical Society of America

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