Christophorou, L. G. Atomic, Molecular and High Voltage Physics Group, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
Last reviewed:January 2020
- Increasing the breakdown potential
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The potential difference at which an electrically stressed gas is tranformed from an insulator to a conductor. In an electrically stressed gas, as the voltage is increased, the free electrons present in the gas gain energy from the electric field. When the applied voltage is increased to such a level that an appreciable number of these electrons are energetically capable of ionizing the gas, the gas makes the transition from an insulator to a conductor; that is, it breaks down. The potential difference at which this transition occurs is known as the breakdown potential for the particular gaseous medium.
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