This paper is concerned with the physics and operating characteristics of cooled anodes In contact with an arc-heated laminar plasma flow in a constant area duct. Various modes of anode behavior are identified and described. Some Influences of gas type, flow rate, arc current, anode material and geometry are demonstrated. A theory is developed to explain the low-current mode of the anode characteristic. It is shown that the local current density on the anode surface is related approximately to the surface's local bias relative to its electrically floating voltage. Anode current distribution data is presented; the distribution is shown to be unstable above a transition bias volt,. age, with the current concentrating intensely on the edge of the anode toward the cathode. Neighboring points on the duct wall are shown to be electrically independent. This fact greatly simplifies an interpretation of anode phenomena. The information presented makes a fairly complete picture of the physical behavior of finite-length, cooled anodes in contact with fully-developed laminar plasma-arc flows.