X-rays and microwave RF power from high voltage laboratory sparks
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Lightning flashes involve high energy processes that still are not well understood. In the laboratory, high voltage pulses are used to produce long sparks in open air allowing the production of energetic radiation. In this paper X-rays emitted by long sparks in air are simultaneously measured with the RF power radiation at 2.4 GHz. The experiment showed that the measured RF power systematically peaks at the time of the X-rays generation (in the microsecond time scale). All of the triggered sparks present peaks of RF radiation before the breakdown of the gap. The RF peaks are related to the applied voltage to the gap. RF peaks are also detected in discharges without breakdown. Cases where X-rays are detected presented higher RF power. The results indicate that at some stage of the discharge, before the breakdown, electrons are very fast accelerated letting in some cases to produce X-rays. Microwave radiation and X-rays may come from the same process.
CitationMontaña, J., Fabro, F., March, V., Van Der Velde, O., Sola, G., Romero, D., Argemí, O. X-rays and microwave RF power from high voltage laboratory sparks. "Journal of atmospheric and solar-terrestrial physics", 16 Juliol 2015.