Ionisation Potential of Radon


WE have determined the ionisation potential of radon, using the well-known method,1 due to Hertz, of compensation of the negative space-charge by positive ions formed by accelerated electrons from a subsidiary cathode. This cathode was an equipotential one and differed only in slight details from that described by Hertz and Kloppers.2 In the original apparatus of Hertz the accelerating grid forms a part of a box which receives the space-limited current from the chief cathode. We have modified this arrangement by introducing a separate accelerating grid which enabled us to measure directly the useful part of the subsidiary emission, that is, the number of electrons penetrating into the box. The contact potential correction of the apparatus was determined by calibrating it with pure xenon and krypton: it was found to be 2.6 volts.

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  1. 1

    Hertz, Zeit. f. Phys., 18, 307; 1923.

  2. 2

    Hertz and Kloppers, Zeit. f. Phys., 31, 463; 1925.

  3. 3

    Wertenstein, Phil. Mag., 6, 17; 1928.

  4. 4

    Rasmussen, Zeit. f. Phys., 62, 494; 1930.

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HOLWECK, F., WERTENSTEIN, L. Ionisation Potential of Radon. Nature 126, 433 (1930).

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