Gas Discharge

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Gas discharge

A system made up of a gas, electrodes, and an enclosing wall in which an electric current is carried by charged particles in response to an electric field, the gradient of the electric potential, or the voltage between two surfaces. The gas discharge is manifested in a variety of modes (including Townsend, glow, arc, and corona discharges) depending on parameters such as the gas composition and density, the external circuit or source of the voltage, electrode geometry, and electrode material. See Electrical breakdown

Gas discharges are useful both as tools to study the physics existing under various conditions and in technological applications such as in the lighting industry and in electrically excited gas lasers. New applications in gas insulation, in high-power electrical switching, and in materials reclamation and processing will assure a continuing effort to better understand all aspects of gas discharges. See Laser

Electrons, rather than ions, are the main current carriers in gas discharges because their mass is smaller and their mobility is correspondingly much higher than that of ions. Electrons are produced by ionization of the gas itself, or they originate at the electrodes present in the system. Gas ionization can be accomplished in several ways, including electron impact ionization, photoionization, and associative ionization. Bombardment by photons, energetic ions or electrons, and excited neutral particles can cause secondary emission from the electrodes. A high-energy-per-unit electrode surface area can induce thermionic or field emission of electrons. Each of these means of producing electrons leads to a different response of the gas discharge as a circuit element. See Electrical conduction in gases, Electron emission, Field emission, Ionization, Photoemission, Secondary emission, Thermionic emission

McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Physics. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Gas Discharge


electrical discharge in gases, a set of electrical, optical, and thermal phenomena associated with the passage of an electrical current through a gas.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

gas discharge

[¦gas ′dis‚chärj]
Conduction of electricity in a gas, due to movements of ions produced by collisions between electrons and gas molecules.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
There are exactly many researches on discharge or plasma anemometers for decades; here, only three typical anemometers based on gas discharge are introduced as follows.
The electrons and ions in gas discharge must be created at exactly the same rate, as they are lost.
They combined their data with estimates of the volume of oil released to arrive at a figure that allows scientists to quantify, for the first time, the gas discharge in terms of equivalent barrels of oil.
Firstly, there is no gas discharge (the launch air being contained within the firing tube after launch), producing an inherently covert system.
The explosive membrane safety valve is a standard type also, involving a calibrated coper membrane that covers an orifice with a diameter of 6 mm, just large enough to assure a safe gas discharge when an overpressure arises during propellant sample combustion.
They use a precision gas discharge lamp sealed in a quartz tube with a water lamp cooling system.
It is based on a gas discharge tube design packaged in two small-geometry form factors.
ST's TRISIL technology offers superior performance, including a long service life without ageing, tight voltage tolerance, fast response times and failsafe operation, compared to non-silicon alternatives, such as gas discharge tubes.
precise and repeatable gas flow measurement for high purity gas lines, pill coater air flow monitoring, CIP and SIP flow and temperature monitoring, condenser/evaporator flow control, scrubber gas discharge monitoring and more.
The relaxation time inside the plasma (with the laser turned off and the gas discharge turned on) was 330 s.
For example, since the test field has no water holding capacity on site, the unit has a blow case to inject liquid back into the gas discharge. Normally, this would require a Kimray back-pressure regulator in the discharge to keep the compressor discharge pressure 15 to 20 psi above the discharge line pressure.