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Some Effects of Irradiation on an Air-Blast Spark Gap

Volume 12, Number 2 (May 1958) Page 38-39

Bryan, F.R.; Runge, E.F.


Effects of ultraviolet and radioisotope irradiation on the breakdown voltage of an air-blast gap have been measured. The type of gap selected for study simulates the control device incorporated in conventional spectrographic excitation sources. The effects of irradiation on the discharge characteristics of the air-blast gap were determined by exposing the gap to a quartz enclosed mercury arc and to the radiation from Radium D. There is found to be definite evidence that both ultraviolet and radioisotope radiations are effective stabilizers of gap breakdown voltage. The use of an irradiated air-blast gap should therefore be beneficial to precision spectrochemical analysis. The two types of radiation appear to be almost equally effective for this purpose.