Re: vacuum spark gap

> Original Poster: "Jim Lux" <jimlux-at-jpl.nasa.gov>
> Gavin is basically right.  A vacuum is a fairly good insulator.  The
> breakdown is by field emission of electrons, which knocks a few electrons
> off the electrode, which then starts to get warm, and then, once it's
> going, vaporized metal ions keep it going.  It doesn't take much metal to
> do this BTW.
> Xrays would be a problem when you get over about 10 kV, but assuming you
> put the thing in a metal can, it shouldn't be a big problem.
> Quenching may prove to be a problem.
> There are several on this list (and in the archives) who have made gaps
> from retrofitted vacuum circuit breakers.  A little practical experience
> worth hours of dialectic.

However, it is also proved that gap losses are reduced when the distance
between the conductors are reduced. To be able to do that without using a
lot of serial static gaps you can only increase pressure instead off

Ruud de Graaf