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In this paper, the properties of the positive column of d-c. arcs and low and high frequency a-c. arcs are presented. Some electrical characteristics are obtainable from external measurements of current, voltage, length, and section. The gas temperature can be determined from the velocity of sound in the arc, the absorption of fast particles, and the intensities of band spectra. The ion density can be estimated from the observables. The question of the existence of thermal equilibrium in the positive column is examined critically, and some of the conditions under which it might occur are found. In some regions of arcs, and at some instants in varying-current arcs, probably no equilibrium exists. Caution must be used in speaking of the temperature of discharges.
Mason, R. C.
Advisory Engineer, Westinghouse Research Laboratories, East Pittsburgh, Pa.