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The criteria for proper ignition in the internal combustion engine require a great deal of discussion. The object of this paper is to relate the various parameters of the ideal discharge in a manner most useful to the reader. By way of introduction, a scope trace showing the voltage as a function of time of an operating spark gap is illustrated and described. Minimum and maximum ignition requirements are outlined, followed by a discussion of the ideal spark parameters which include the following: 1) gap width 2) duration of spark discharge 3) spark energy 4) spark voltage 5) spark current 6) direction of current flow 7) voltage rise time.