Yield of metastable atoms from a rare gas discharge in a longitudinal magnetic field

Document Type



Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor's Name

John W. Sheldon

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Milagros Delgado

Third Advisor's Name

Kenneth A. Hardy

Fourth Advisor's Name

Richard Bone


Electric discharges through gases, Atomic beams

Date of Defense



Atomic beam experiments are limited by intensity. Intensity limitations are specially critical in the measurements of metastable atoms, since their relative population is several order of magnitude smaller than the beam population. This thesis provides a method for increasing the intensity of metastable argon and neon beams effusing from a hot cathode, glow discharge by use of a longitudinal magnetic field. The argon and neon metastable atom intensities have been measured for a range of discharge pressure, voltage, and current for a magnetic field strengths from 0 to 31 mT. For both argon and neon, the metastable atom beam intensity rises to a maximum value about one order of magnitude above the zero field case. A qualitative discussion of the theory of this phenomenon is also presented.



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