Development of the Spark Discharge


SOME time ago, one of us1 photographed the long electric spark with a rotating camera and showed that a preliminary discharge occurred prior to the main spark, just as in the case of the lightning discharge studied by Prof. B. F. J. Schonland and others. The original photographs of the spark between a pointed high-voltage electrode and a plane earthed electrode showed the course of this leader discharge for about 20 per cent of the inter-electrode spacing the luminosity diminishing with increasing distance from the high-voltage electrode. The time interval between the leader and the main stroke corresponded to the time-to-sparkover as recorded on the oscillograph. Leader strokes preceded positive and negative discharges.

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    Allibone and Schonland, NATURE, 134, 736 (1934).

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ALLIBONE, T., MEEK, J. Development of the Spark Discharge. Nature 140, 804–805 (1937).

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