Re: theory(?) for long sparks

From: 	Malcolm Watts[SMTP:MALCOLM-at-directorate.wnp.ac.nz]
Sent: 	Thursday, December 04, 1997 3:28 PM
To: 	Tesla List
Subject: 	Re: theory(?) for long sparks

Jim, all,
             On re-reading this it might be worth noting the results 
I obtained a few weeks ago when doing some single shot testing for
spark quality....

> From:   Jim Lux[SMTP:jimlux-at-earthlink-dot-net]
> Sent:   Tuesday, December 02, 1997 11:25 AM
> To:     Tesla List
> Subject:    Re: theory(?) for long sparks


> I don't think anything hangs around between breaks for the sparks in a TC.
> The sparks are too small and lose their energy by radiation and conduction
> too quickly to remain ionized. It might leave a generally ionized region
> with a somewhat lower ionization voltage, or the compounds created by the
> spark (e.g. NOx, O3) might ionize easier. The current flow in a stepped
> leader is not constant, but is continuous, in that there is always current
> flowing from the source into the leader.

I noted that attached length from a coil running bangs of about 3J or 
so nearly doubled when break rate increased from around 1 to somewhere
around 3 BPS. I positioned a discharge rod at various distances as the 
testing progressed.  This is a far cry from BPS=100 or something like 
that as air streamers got no longer at these long break rates. It is 
probably difficult to judge just how long ions can be present but the 
bulk of them recombine quickly as the spark rapidly dims below 
visible. Perhaps it is the formation of free radicals and exotic 
energetic molecules like ozone that are principally involved. The 
lengths involved were around a foot at 1BPS and about 22" from memory 
at 3 BPS or so.