Miller, Glenn H. Weapons Effects Division, Sandia Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
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The region between two electrodes in which a disruptive electrical spark may take place. The gap should be taken to mean the electrodes as well as the intervening space. Such devices may have many uses. The ignition system in a gasoline engine furnishes a very important example. Another important case is the use of a spark gap as a protective device in electrical equipment. Here, surges in potential may be made to break down such a gap so that expensive equipment will not be damaged. The dependence of spark-gap operation on such factors as pressure, length, electrode characteristics, and time dependence of potential is quite complicated. See also: Breakdown potential; Electric spark
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