Abstract

Highly reproducible light sources using sliding sparks through polyethylene capillaries are described. They emit an essentially continuous spectrum which can be used for absorption measurements or as a secondary intensity standard. The light pulses (reproducible within ±4%) can be triggered with jitter times shorter than ±5 nsec and with a typical half-duration of 60 nsec. In consequence of the high electron density (2.5×1019 cm−3) achieved, the visible continuum intensity (a typical value being 1.0×1011 W cm−3 sr−1 at 4340 Å) follows approximately the blackbody radiation law. The corresponding temperature (450 000°K) is in agreement with the observation of lines and free-bound continua of highly-ionized carbon ions (C v and C vi) in the soft x-ray region.

© 1968 Optical Society of America

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