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Investigations of pre-breakdown phenomena: streamer discharges

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Physical principles of electrical breakdown are reviewed in this article. The phenomena of streamer formation and spontaneous branching are studied in terms of a fluid description based on kinetic theory. Particular attention is paid to a minimal model which is suitable for non-attaching gases. The evidence that anode directed fronts can branch due to a Laplacian instability is shown. Finally an electric shielding factor is introduced which allows us to extend previous results to curved geometries.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Departamento de Matemáticas y Física Aplicadas, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Tulipán s/n, 28933, Móstoles, Madrid, Spain

Publication date: 2005-07-01

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