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The Formation and Growth of a Stabilized Spark Discharge

Volume 26, Number 3 (June 1972) Page 323-354

Walters, J.P.


The production and properties of a spatially stabilized atmospheric pressure spark discharge are described. Nanosecond experiments are reported on controlled discharge formation via an electronically driven, quarter wave, current injection spark source at repetition rates up to 3000 per second. Formation of electrode space charges, acceptance of current by the discharge, electrode erosion, time-resolved spectral output, and potential analytical applications are treated. Chemical mechanisms for discharge formation and growth from electrically generated metastable argon are presented. Methods for high precision stroboscopic discharge observation are developed and used for verification of stabilization processes.