By A. M. Howatson (Auth.)
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Extra info for An Introduction to Gas Discharges
Radiation can be emitted by free electrons as brehmsstrahlung, in encounters with positive ions where the electron remains free but gives up kinetic energy (a free-free transition). This is an important energy loss from highly ionized plasma at high temperatures. 3). Certain aspects of radiation are discussed further in later chapters. 5. MOBILITY In a gas under normal conditions all collisions result from the random, or thermal, motion of the particles; this is true for an ionized gas provided that there is no field of force acting on the charged particles.
Experimental values for the threshold energy are not easily obtained. As for electron collision, the reverse process produces kinetic energy at the expense of the energy of excitation or ionization. If a gas is sufficiently hot, the random energy of an atom may occasionally be sufficient to ionize another upon collision. This process is called thermal ionization and is important in highpressure arc discharges. In chemi-ionization, which occurs in flames, the energy is provided by chemical exchange.
1) then it can form a source of both electrons and positive ions. This is the basis of the quiescent plasma or Q-machine(4), in a typical version of which heated plates of tungsten are used to maintain a plasma of alkali-metal vapour in a magnetic field; the result is a stable plasma which is virtually in thermal equilibrium with the plates and is superior to a gas discharge for many experimental purposes. 4. Charge Transfer; the Penning Effect An important class of inelastic collisions of the second kind between atoms or ions is that where potential energy is transferred from one to the other.
An Introduction to Gas Discharges by A. M. Howatson (Auth.)