Abstract

Optical emission from low-voltage (9.5 V) low-current (<2 A) magnesium break arcs in an argon atmosphere has been studied. A straight-line plot of log (Iλ3/gf) vs Eu, the upper-state energy, for several transitions yields an arc temperature of 6400 °K. Stark-broadened linewidths for ten optical transitions allowed the electron density to be determined as 5.4 ± 2 × 1016 cm−3 for a 1 A magnesium arc. A comparison of these data with theoretical predictions of Griem for an optically thick system suggests that electron densities are adequate to support local thermodynamics equilibrium.

© 1977 Optical Society of America

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