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Observations on the Theory and Characteristics of Electrical Figures on Plates in Air with Particular Reference to their Speed of Growth


Pleasants, John Gibson (1933) Observations on the Theory and Characteristics of Electrical Figures on Plates in Air with Particular Reference to their Speed of Growth. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/8EFG-G165.


The fact that electrical figures in air at atmospheric pressure grow with average velocities which lie in the range of from 10 to 103 km./sec., and which may extend beyond this range, depending on the magnitude of the voltage applied and the physical constants of the plate is verified. The velocity decreases with increasing size of the figure. The effect of a variation in the capacitance between surfaces per unit area of the plate has been found to be greater for negative than for positive figures, and has been found to decrease with increasing voltage, for figures at the same stage of development. The maximum current intake has been observed to be 22.5 amp. (an average for two figures in parallel) at 30 kv., rising to a value of 60 amp. at 42.5 kv.. The effective capacitance (of two figures in parallel) in one case rose from an initial value of practically zero to more than 8,000 cm., resulting in a reduction in maximum value of the voltage wave applied of 25% of the open line value. The reduction in rate of rise of voltage for the same case was 30%. The possibility of the use of such an arrangement for protection against over voltages is suggested. The polarity difference in the figures is a result of the difference in direction of the flow of charge, and is dependent on the constants of the plate, - - no predisposition to a fixed ratio being noted. The behavior of the figures is such as to verify the conclusions of other authors that figures of both polarities are formed by the movement of electrons alone.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Electrical Engineering
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Electrical Engineering
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Unknown, Unknown
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:1 January 1933
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:03232017-092147859
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:10100
Deposited By: Benjamin Perez
Deposited On:24 Mar 2017 14:37
Last Modified:16 Aug 2023 23:10

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