Accession Number : AD0700140

Title :   THE PHYSICS OF METASTABLE SYSTEMS.

Descriptive Note : Final rept. 1 Feb 67-31 Jan 69,

Corporate Author : TEXAS UNIV AUSTIN DEPT OF PHYSICS

Personal Author(s) : Robertson,W. W.

Report Date : 31 JAN 1969

Pagination or Media Count : 30

Abstract : The energy required to maintain an electric discharge in a gas is expended initially in the excitation and ionization of ground state atoms or molecules through inelastic collisions with energetic electrons. In the rare gases, a part of this energy is trapped temporarily in atomic and molecular metastable states. Investigations of the multitude of reactions undergone by these active species in rare gas discharges and afterglows were carried out toward the ultimate end of controlling these reactions, toward stabilizing and concentrating the active species. The report summarizes the results of the research. The very practical goal, on the one hand, was the production of a useful, though 'exotic', propellant and, on the other, the acquisition of basic information useful in understanding chemical reactions in rocket exhausts, the upper atmosphere, lasers, etc. The program of research that was followed included a very direct experimental approach to the problem of condensation and stabilization of metastable helium, together with long-range basic investigation seeking to determine the mechanisms for the many reactions carried out by these active species, to measure their rate constants and the effects of gas temperature, gas pressure, electron temperature, electron densities, impurities, etc. These reactions were investigated in a number of different types of active discharges and afterglows. (Author)

Descriptors :   (*RARE GASES, *ELECTRON TRANSITIONS), (*GAS DISCHARGES, EXCITATION), ION BOMBARDMENT, MOLECULAR ENERGY LEVELS, HELIUM, IONS, ROCKET PROPELLANTS, AFTERGLOWS

Subject Categories : Atomic and Molecular Physics and Spectroscopy

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE