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An apparatus is described which is used for the controlled production, characterization, and study of dissociated gases in a microwave discharge at elevated temperatures. A unique feature is the ability to produce and study a microwave discharge plasma in the heated zone. This allows elevated temperature reactions to be studied in high concentrations of dissociated gases. Further, the system permits weight change measurements of specimens in the plasma, thus facilitating reaction rate determinations. Included is a description of a cavity for use on a 50-mm diameter cylindrical reactor. The effects of flow rate, pressure, temperature, power, metal sample, and sampling position on dissociation percentage of oxygen in the apparatus are described as well as a technique for sample temperature measurements in the plasma which permits determination of high temperature recombination coefficients and reaction rates.