Experimental study of the spatio-temporal development of meter-scale negative discharge in air

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Abstract

We study the development of a negative discharge driven by a Marx generator of about 1 MV in an air gap of 1 up to 1.5 meter, at standard temperature and pressure. We show the evolution of the discharge with nanosecond-fast photography together with the electrical characteristics. The negative discharge develops through four well-distinguished streamer bursts. The streamers have different velocities and life times in different bursts. The last burst triggers a positive inception cloud on the positive grounded electrode and a burst of positive counter-streamers emerges. The pre-discharge then bridges the gap and leaders grow from both electrodes. Finally a spark is formed. Looking closer into the pre-ionized zone near the cathode, we find isolated dots which are potential branching points. These dots act as starting points for positive streamers that move towards the high-voltage electrode. We also find such phenomena as space leaders and leader stepping in our laboratory sparks.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1312.4765
Pages (from-to)1312.4765-1/24
Number of pages24
JournalarXiv.org, e-Print Archive, Physics
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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