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brush discharge[¦brəsh ¦dis‚chärj]
a form of electric discharge in gases.
Brush discharges arise when one of the electrodes is a thin, sharp point, generating a highly nonuniform electric field. The elementary processes of the brush discharge are similar to those of the spark discharge, which the brush discharge becomes when the voltage between electrodes is increased. Unlike the spark discharge, in the brush discharge the bundle of sparks (brush) diverging from the point does not reach the second electrode. This and other features make it possible to consider the brush discharge a form of corona discharge with strongly pronounced intermittent phenomena. Lowering the voltage turns a brush discharge into an ordinary corona discharge.