Abstract

Spectroscopic studies of the line profiles of radiating ions in a magnetically confined, high-current, steady-state vacuum carbon arc have revealed ion temperatures up to 5,000,000°K in a 4.9-m long arc. The ion temperature is a quadratic function of the distance from the anode in a given arc, but for arcs of different lengths the highest arc temperature is roughly proportional to the arc length. The spectrum line profiles are essentially Gaussian (Doppler shape) for observations transverse to the arc column but in very long arcs are non-Gaussian, and sharper, for axial views. Helium, nitrogen, or argon fed to the arc through the cathode result in pronounced heating of the trapped ions, their transverse temperature being dependent on the charge state of the ion, thus suggesting strong radial electric field heating of the ions.

© 1963 Optical Society of America

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