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I. The Explosion of Ether-Air Mixtures by Electric Sparks. II. The Dynamic Resistance of a Spark


Zarem, A. Mordecai (1944) I. The Explosion of Ether-Air Mixtures by Electric Sparks. II. The Dynamic Resistance of a Spark. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/WRM8-4W23.


The work of previous investigators, on the initiation of explosion, is reviewed. Several researches are described in detail in order to indicate the basic requirements that must be satisfied by a coordinated theory of the explosion process. The possibility that a correlation may exist between the ability of a "capacitor spark" to ignite a combustible mixture, and the electrical charactor of the discharge was investigated. The results of experiments with a 4% ether air mixture are presented and discussed. It is shown that the energy dissipated in a spark is not by itself a measure of the ignitibility of the spark. Neither is the total charge passed during a discharge. The sparking potential, however, greatly affects the "exploding power" of a spark. For sparking potentials between 2000 volts and 4000 volts no correlation has been found to exist between the igniting ability of a spark and the maximum, effective, or average discharge current. The results of experiments with corona discharges of potentials up to 35,000 volts indicate that explosion could not be intiated by this type of discharge. The suggestion that current density in a spark may be a critical factor in determining its ability to cause explosion, is advanced. Further experiments are sugggested.

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):
  • Mackeown, Samuel Stuart
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:1 January 1944
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-07202004-154931
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:2946
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:26 Jul 2004
Last Modified:10 Nov 2023 19:41

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PDF (Zarem_am_1944.pdf) - Final Version
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