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Short‐Duration Light Pulse during Electrical Breakdown in Gases

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1 Author(s)
Pollack, S.A. ; TRW/Space Technology Laboratories, Inc., Redondo Beach, California

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The paper describes and discusses observations of the emission of a light pulse by a Hg‐Ar binary system during electrical breakdown, when an impulse potential in the form of a rectified square wave is applied to the electrodes of a flash lamp. By a proper choice of various parameters, the light pulse can be made intense and narrow, i.e., its width can be extended into the nanosecond region. The experimental procedures and results of different measurements are described, illustrated, and substantiated by photographs and charts; and the conjecture about the mechanism responsible for the pulse formation is discussed. Multiple‐watt light pulses of 40–60 nsec were produced in a 2‐cm gap with point electrodes at V=3 kV, pHg=10-2 Torr, and pAr=70 Torr. The application of the light pulse as an intense, short‐duration light source for measuring submicrosecond fluorescence lifetimes is discussed. A simple method of determining lifetimes using electrical analog circuits is described.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:36 ,  Issue: 11 )

Date of Publication:

Nov 1965

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