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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Investigations of a spark gap with mercury-jet electrodes Ngo, Frank Quoc-Hai


A spark gap with mercury jets as electrodes has been developed. Investigations show that the gap can be triggered reliably by photons from a trigger spark with a jitter in the formative time lags less than 0.2 µsec. To overcome uncertainties in the breakdown conditions produced by surface waves on the jet, it has been found necessary to trigger the spark no later than 0.5 sec. after starting the jets„ By suitably designing the geometry of the jets undesirable surface instabilities excited by electric fields have been eliminated. Since the spark gap is isolated electrically from the triggering source very little noise is produced in neighbouring measuring circuits when the main spark is fired. The continual regeneration of the electrode surfaces also eliminates the erratic features observed in normal spark gaps which are fitted with solid metal electrodes.

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