High voltage electrical discharges in the laboratory
Not peer reviewed
MetadataShow full item record
A new phenomenon called terrestrial gamma-ray flashes (TGFs) was discovered early in the 1990s by the NASA satellite Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory. The short-duration bursts of highly energetic gamma-rays are caused by bremsstrahlung from energetic electrons, but the production mechanism of these electrons is not known. TGFs were linked to lightning, and different theories of production mechanisms have been studied since. Highly energetic radiation has been detected from long laboratory sparks, and implies production of highly energetic electrons even in laboratory sparks. Even though the potential differences are much less than those found in thunderclouds, this enabled the study of laboratory sparks to learn more about natural lightning and the production mechanism of TGFs. In this thesis we present an experiment of high voltage electrical discharges in the laboratory. We have planned and conducted a laboratory experiment at the Eindhoven University of Technology. This experiment has collected data from a large number of sparks. Here, we present a brief review of literature relevant to terrestrial gamma-ray flashes (TGFs) and laboratory sparks. We present theories governing laboratory sparks and some theories of TGFs. We develop and discuss different tools and methods for data processing to prepare the data for future analysis. We also discuss whether the signals from the detectors are caused by electrons and photons, and argue that they are most likely caused by electrons. A model for estimating the source locations for the electrons is suggested, but is not fully developed.
PublisherThe University of Bergen
Copyright the author. All rights reserved