Positive streamers in air of varying density : experiments on the scaling of the excitation density

D. Dubrovin, S. Nijdam, T.T.J. Clevis, L.C.J. Heijmans, U. Ebert, Y. Yair, C. Price

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Abstract

Streamers are rapidly extending ionized finger-like structures that dominate the initial breakdown of large gas volumes in the presence of a sufficiently strong electric field. Their macroscopic parameters are described by simple scaling relations, where the densities of electrons and of excited molecules in the active streamer front scale as the square of the density of the neutral gas. In this work we estimate the absolute density of nitrogen molecules, excited to the C3¿u state that emit photons in the 2P–N2 band, by radiometrically calibrated short exposure intensified imaging. We test several pressures (100, 200 and 400¿mbar) in artificial air at room temperature. Our results provide a first confirmation for the scaling of the density of excited species with the gas density. The method proposed here is particularly suitable to characterize the excitation densities in sprite streamers in the atmosphere.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)055205-1/10
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Volume48
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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Gases
scaling
Density of gases
Molecules
air
Air
Density (specific gravity)
excitation
Nitrogen
Photons
Experiments
Electric fields
Imaging techniques
Electrons
neutral gases
gas density
molecules
Temperature
breakdown
nitrogen

Cite this

Dubrovin, D. ; Nijdam, S. ; Clevis, T.T.J. ; Heijmans, L.C.J. ; Ebert, U. ; Yair, Y. ; Price, C. / Positive streamers in air of varying density : experiments on the scaling of the excitation density. In: Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics. 2015 ; Vol. 48, No. 5. pp. 055205-1/10.
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Positive streamers in air of varying density : experiments on the scaling of the excitation density. / Dubrovin, D.; Nijdam, S.; Clevis, T.T.J.; Heijmans, L.C.J.; Ebert, U.; Yair, Y.; Price, C.

In: Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, Vol. 48, No. 5, 2015, p. 055205-1/10.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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T1 - Positive streamers in air of varying density : experiments on the scaling of the excitation density

AU - Dubrovin, D.

AU - Nijdam, S.

AU - Clevis, T.T.J.

AU - Heijmans, L.C.J.

AU - Ebert, U.

AU - Yair, Y.

AU - Price, C.

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AB - Streamers are rapidly extending ionized finger-like structures that dominate the initial breakdown of large gas volumes in the presence of a sufficiently strong electric field. Their macroscopic parameters are described by simple scaling relations, where the densities of electrons and of excited molecules in the active streamer front scale as the square of the density of the neutral gas. In this work we estimate the absolute density of nitrogen molecules, excited to the C3¿u state that emit photons in the 2P–N2 band, by radiometrically calibrated short exposure intensified imaging. We test several pressures (100, 200 and 400¿mbar) in artificial air at room temperature. Our results provide a first confirmation for the scaling of the density of excited species with the gas density. The method proposed here is particularly suitable to characterize the excitation densities in sprite streamers in the atmosphere.

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