Skip to Main Content
Summary form only given as follows. The understanding of initiation and development of the streamers plays an essential role in the electric breakdown process in water. It was shown that bush-like streamers are propagating low-density gaseous plasma phases that can appear within nanoseconds after the application of an electric field. In this paper a semi-numerical model is presented for the development of electric breakdown in liquids based on nanosecond time scale. In this model, breakdown starts in the pre-existed bubble at the tip of the electrode. Formation of plasma immediately makes the surface of the bubble charged to the potential of the electrode, and the imbalance between the electrostatic force and surface tension makes the bubble elongate at high speed. Numerical estimations made using this model are in good agreement with published experimental data. Linear analysis also shows that the instability of the Rayleigh-Taylor type develops in the plasma-gaseous channel surface points with high curvature.