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a narrow, luminous channel formed within a gas in an electric field at pressures that are close to and above atmospheric in the stage preceding the electrical breakdown of the gas. Upon formation, a streamer lengthens at great velocity (~106 m/sec), a velocity several times higher than that of the charged particles between the electrodes. This speed is explained by the photo-ionization that occurs in the strong electric field created by the space charge near the advancing tip of the streamer. In their structure, streamers are similar in many respects to leaders in lightning discharges.
REFERENCERaether, H. Elektronnye laviny i proboi v gazakh. Moscow, 1968. (Translated from English.)
L. A. SENA
ii. The failure of a parachute to deploy because the rigging lines are fouled. Also called a cigarette or a streamer.