Streamers in air splitting into three branches
1 Department of Applied Physics, Eindhoven University of Technology - P.O. Box 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands, EU
2 Centrum Wiskunde and Informatica (CWI) - P.O. Box 94079, 1090 GB Amsterdam, The Netherlands, EU
Received: 3 May 2013
Accepted: 16 July 2013
We investigate the branching of positive streamers in air and present the first systematic investigation of splitting into more than two branches. We study discharges in 100 mbar artificial air that is exposed to voltage pulses of 10 kV applied to a needle electrode 160 mm above a grounded plate. By imaging the discharge with two cameras from three angles, we establish that about every 200th branching event is a branching into three. Branching into three occurs more frequently for the relatively thicker streamers. In fact, we find that the surface of the total streamer cross-sections before and after a branching event is roughly the same.
PACS: 52.80.-s – Electric discharges / 52.70.Kz – Optical (ultraviolet, visible, infrared) measurements
© EPLA, 2013