Abstract

The emission of high current microsecond arc channels in argon and helium, with a 1-mm gap is studied by means of a 20-nsec exposure Kerr cell shutter, and profiles of the relative luminance B are determined from the photographic arc image. This method is largely unaffected by instabilities in the arc position; the scatter of relative luminance values was smaller than ±5%. Maximum values of the saturation luminance B* in the axis of the arc channel are observed over a wide range of arc current which is altered by the gas pressure. A ratio of B*He/B*A = 1.52 for the two gases is determined. The luminance profile across the arc channel demonstrates increasing opacity after saturation is reached.

© 1967 Optical Society of America

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