Abstract

Examination of the light output of discharge tubes, using the multiplier-type photo-tube in conjunction with a cathode-ray oscillograph, is suggested as a powerful aid to the usual electrical measurements in understanding the behavior of electrical discharges in gases. Exhaustive experiments of this type are under way, the preliminary results of which are reported in this paper. A striking characteristic of these results is the appearance of oscillations not only in the voltage and current, but particularly in the light intensity. These oscillations appear to be very general, and are not due to the external circuit used. They are only of a few percent magnitude in the case of the voltage and current, but often nearly 100 percent in the case of the light intensity. It seems certain that the theory of electrical discharges should in many cases be revised to take these oscillations into account.

© 1947 Optical Society of America

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References

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  1. For a general review of gas discharges see, e.g., L. B. Loeb, Fundamental Processes of Electrical Discharges in Gases (John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, 1939);A. O. Engel and M. Steenbeck, Elektrische Gasentladungen (Edwards Brothers, Inc., Ann Arbor, 1944), 2 volumes;M. J. Druyvestijn and F. M. Penning, Rev. Mod. Phys. 12, 87 (1940).
    [Crossref]
  2. G. H. Dieke, H. Y. Loh, and H. M. Crosswhite, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 36, 185 (1946).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  3. G. H. Dieke, “Symposium on Spectroscopic Light Sources, Buffalo, June 1946,” Proc A.S.T.M. (1947).
  4. L. B. Loeb, reference 1, pp. 563, 573; Engel and Steenbeck, reference 1, p. 65.

1947 (1)

G. H. Dieke, “Symposium on Spectroscopic Light Sources, Buffalo, June 1946,” Proc A.S.T.M. (1947).

1946 (1)

Crosswhite, H. M.

Dieke, G. H.

G. H. Dieke, “Symposium on Spectroscopic Light Sources, Buffalo, June 1946,” Proc A.S.T.M. (1947).

G. H. Dieke, H. Y. Loh, and H. M. Crosswhite, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 36, 185 (1946).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Loeb, L. B.

L. B. Loeb, reference 1, pp. 563, 573; Engel and Steenbeck, reference 1, p. 65.

For a general review of gas discharges see, e.g., L. B. Loeb, Fundamental Processes of Electrical Discharges in Gases (John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, 1939);A. O. Engel and M. Steenbeck, Elektrische Gasentladungen (Edwards Brothers, Inc., Ann Arbor, 1944), 2 volumes;M. J. Druyvestijn and F. M. Penning, Rev. Mod. Phys. 12, 87 (1940).
[Crossref]

Loh, H. Y.

J. Opt. Soc. Am. (1)

Proc A.S.T.M. (1)

G. H. Dieke, “Symposium on Spectroscopic Light Sources, Buffalo, June 1946,” Proc A.S.T.M. (1947).

Other (2)

L. B. Loeb, reference 1, pp. 563, 573; Engel and Steenbeck, reference 1, p. 65.

For a general review of gas discharges see, e.g., L. B. Loeb, Fundamental Processes of Electrical Discharges in Gases (John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, 1939);A. O. Engel and M. Steenbeck, Elektrische Gasentladungen (Edwards Brothers, Inc., Ann Arbor, 1944), 2 volumes;M. J. Druyvestijn and F. M. Penning, Rev. Mod. Phys. 12, 87 (1940).
[Crossref]

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Figures (22)

F. 1
F. 1

Discharge tubes used in this study. A.Air-discharge tube, variable pressure.B.Low pressure mercury tube with argon (germicidal lamp).C.Low pressure mercury tube with 2-mm argon (side tube to freeze out the mercury).D.Tubes with Ne, A, K, X, at 2-mm pressure.E.H–3 mercury lamp.F.H–6 high pressure mercury lamp.G.Low pressure capillary mercury tube.H.High pressure mercury tube (Hanovia).I.Mercury arc (no rare-gas filling).J.Tube with mercury pool electrodes (no rare-gas filling).K.Cadmium and zinc vapor arcs (with argon filling), Westinghouse.

F. 2
F. 2

Characteristics of typical low pressure mercury-glow discharge, (Fig. 1G) 60 cycles. A.Voltage against time.B.Current against time.C.Intensity against time.D.Intensity against voltage.E.Voltage against current.F.Intensity against current.

F. 3
F. 3

Same tube as in Fig. 2, 800 cycles. A.Voltage against time.B.Current against time.C.Intensity against current.D.Voltage against intensity.E.Intensity against time 2537A line.F.Same 5461A line.G.Same 3984A line of Hg II.

F. 4
F. 4

Initial current and intensity surges at the breakdown of the discharge of Fig. 2. A. current; B. intensity; time in microseconds.

F. 5
F. 5

Voltage diagrams of various discharges, 60 cycles. A.Xenon tube 1D.B.Mercury tube 1G, current 18 ma.C.Mercury tube 1H.D.Mercury tube 1B.E.Mercury, tube 1G, current 4 ma.F.Zinc vapor arc, tube 1K, current 4.3 amp.

F. 6
F. 6

Voltage oscillations in rare gases after breakdown, tubes 1D; A. Neon; B. Argon; C. krypton; D. Xenon.

F. 7
F. 7

Voltage diagrams of discharge in air with decreasing pressures. Tube Fig. 1A open circuit, D–F glow discharges.

F. 8
F. 8

Current diagrams of the same air discharges as Fig. 7.

F. 9
F. 9

Voltage pattern of a high pressure mercury-discharge tube during the warming-up period. Tube 1H. Time after starting: A–27 sec.; B–50 sec.; C–57 sec.; D–87 sec.; E–127 sec.; F–163 sec.; G–182 sec.

F. 10
F. 10

Voltage, current, and intensity fluctuations accompanying the breakdown of discharge of Fig. 2. Total sweep about 800 microseconds.

F. 11
F. 11

d.c. characteristic of low pressure mercury discharge (tube 1G).

F. 12
F. 12

Characteristic of low pressure mercury discharge (tube 1G).

F. 13
F. 13

Voltage-current characteristic of high pressure mercury discharge during warming up period. Time after starting: A-13 sec.; B–46 sec.; C–95 sec.; D–197 sec.; E–600 sec. Air blower turned on to cool the tube. Time after this F–22 sec.; G–38 sec.; H–54 sec.; I–83 sec.

F. 14
F. 14

Current fluctuations of early stages of same discharge as Figs. 9 and 13. A. complete cycle; B. details of the breaks; C. later stage.

F. 15
F. 15

Intensity pattern of the mercury lines 2537 and 5461 in high pressure tube 1G during the warming-up period. In A–D the stronger line is 2537, in E and F, 5461. Time after starting: A–15 sec.; B–30 sec.; C–120 sec.; D–170 sec.; E–195 sec.; F–300 sec.

F. 16
F. 16

High pressure mercury arc (H–3). A.Intensity diagram of 5461 line.B.Intensity against current.C.Intensity against voltage.D.3131 line.E.3341 line.F.Continuous background near 4000A.

F. 17
F. 17

Cadmium arc (tube Fig. 1K) current 4 amp. A.Voltage diagram for equilibrium state.B.Lower part of tube cooled by air blast.C.Upper part of tube cooled by air blast.D.Voltage with zero line.E.Constant positive voltage added to same terminal that is connected to lower electrode.F.Lower end of tube cooled by air blast. (The connections in D–F were reversed compared to those of A–C.)G.Current diagram for equilibrium condition.H.Lower end of tube cooled.I.Upper end of tube cooled.

F. 18
F. 18

Intensity breaks in a discharge corresponding to Fig. 9B or Fig. 13B.

F. 19
F. 19

Intensity oscillations in rare-gas discharges, pressure about 2 mm, 60-cycle discharge. A.Neon, at one electrode.B.Neon, in Crookes dark space for half-cycle with regular frequency.C.Neon, negative glow.D.Neon, Faraday dark space.E.Neon, positive column.F.Neon, near middle of tube.G.Argon.H.Krypton.I.Xenon.

F. 20
F. 20

Intensity oscillations in low pressure mercury tube; (Fig. 1C) current 30 ma, 60-cycIe discharge. A.At one electrode.B.0.4 cm from electrode, Crookes dark space.C.1.35 cm, negative glow.D.2.0 cm, Faraday dark space.E.4.4 cm.F.8.3 cm.G.12.8 cm, middle of tube.

F. 21
F. 21

A–current, B–voltage, C–intensity of low pressure mercury discharge, Fig. 1C. D–E, low pressure tube, Fig. 1B.

F. 22
F. 22

A–D, low pressure mercury tube, Fig. 1D, intensity in middle of tube. A.At thermal equilibrium, ambient temperature is room temperature.B.After 2 minutes of heating with electric radiator.C.After 3 minutes.D.After 5 minutes. Neon discharge.E.Thermal equilibrium.F.After 10 minutes heating by electric radiator.