Date of Award

Spring 1971

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Director

Jacob Becher

Committee Member

Wynford Harries

Committee Member

George S. Ofelt

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.P48B52


The validity of the line intensity ratio technique for measuring the electron temperature was examined for an argon plasma with a "population inversion" i.e., the number of ions with electrons in the upper 4p levels was greater than in the lower 4s levels. The line intensities from these levels, the argon ion lasing transitions, were measured in a pulsed tenuous plasma at 110μ Hg produced by discharging a capacitor through a tube 2m long and 7mm inside diameter. The electron impact cross sections for simultaneous excitation and ionization as measured by Latimer and St. John were used and averaged over the velocity distribution of electrons, assumed Maxwellian. The electron temperatures obtained, ranged from 1.0 - 1.7 eV depending on which lines were observed. A theory of the positive column, where wall effects are not considered gives values about twice as high as an upper bound.


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