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Temperatures reached in Electrical Discharges in the Solar Atmosphere

Naturevolume 187pages865866 (1960) | Download Citation



IN a contribution1a to the Institution of Electrical Engineers Convention on Thermonuclear Processes, of which a somewhat fuller account was published later in Nature1b, I suggested that the electrical discharge theory of solar flares and the associated magnetic storms and auroræ led to the surprising result that the temperature of these discharges must reach values of the order of 100,000,000° K. somewhere between the Sun and the Earth's orbit. In another account1c of this work, I suggested that this need not come as too great a surprise, as temperatures of the order of 1,000,000° K. had been obtained some years earlier in electrical discharges in the laboratory (I. V. Kurchatov, Moscow, 1956), and for long have been known to exist in the solar corona.

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  1. 1

    Bruce, C. E. R., (a) J. Inst. Elect. Eng., 106, Pt. A, Supp. No. 2, 44 (1959); (b) Nature, 184, 2004 (1959); (c) Engineer, 864 (Dec. 25, 1959); (d) “A New Approach in Astrophysics and Cosmogony” (London, 1944); (e) C.R. Acad. Sci., Paris, 250, 61 (1960); (f) Observatory, 77, 107 (1957); (g) E.R.A. Report Z/T 117 (1958).

  2. 2

    J. Franklin Inst., 269, 78 (1960); Nature, 186, 750 (1960).

  3. 3

    See, for example, Ferraro, V. C. A., Internat. Astro. Union Symp. No. 6, 297 (Cambridge University Press, 1958).

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  1. Electrical Research Association, Leatherhead, Surrey

    • C. E. R. BRUCE


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