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Патент USA US2114885

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April 19, 1938.
E. F. LOWRY
2,1 14,885
GASEOUS DISCHARGE TUBE
Filed Aug. 26. 1956
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Patented Apr. 19, 1938
2,114,885
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23143851.?
GASEOUS'DISCHA‘RGE TUBE
Erwin F. 'Lowry, Batavia, Ill., assignor to West
inghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company,
East Pittsburgh, Pa, a corporation of Penn
Sl’lvania
'
Application August 26, 1936, Serial No. 97,974
6’Clai‘m’s.
My invention relates to discharge tubes and
(01.‘250-275)
'
um and ‘strontium oxide, such as is disclosed in
especially to such tubes having a gaseous atmos-v
phere therein from a vaporizable substance.
An object of the invention is to lengthen the
discharge path between the cathode and .the
anode so that material from the cathode will not
sputter on the anode and create back emission.
Another object of the invention is to decrease
the tendency of such tubes to vary their charac
10 teristics with a change in the ambient tempera
ture.
‘One of the common forms of tubes having a
vaporizable substance for creating a gaseous at
mosphere is that of the hot cathode mercury va
15 por type. The gaseous atmosphere is provided by
a globule or more of mercury.
20
25
30
35
40
Changes in tem
perature of the device result in a change in va
por pressure with the result that the characteris
tics of the tube are changed. One cause of this
variation vapor pressure is that the globule of
mercury is generally at a position in the bottom
portion of the tube far removed from. the dis
charge path between the cathode and anode with
the result that the temperature around the bot
tom portion of the tube will affect the vapor pres
sure. With diiferent ranges of temperature, the
control characteristics of the tube, for example,
Will vary by several volts.
It is one of the speci?c objects of my invention
to provide means for re?ecting heat from the
cathode onto this mercury so that the mercury
may be speedily vaporized when the tube is put in
operation and also that changes in the ambient
temperature will have a less percentage effect on
the temperature of the mercury vapor.
Other objects of my invention will become evi
my Patent 1,968,608, issued July 31, 1934. An
anode i7 cooperates with this cathode and is pref
erablylocatedat the upper end of the tube with a
leadsupport l8 passing through this upper por
tion of the tube.
.
For the various objects of my invention hereto
fore mentioned, I provide a member 20 preferably
having a bulge 2| towards the anode and located
in What would be normally the direct discharge 10
path between the cathode and anode. This cen
tral portion 2| of the member is imperforated so‘
that material on the coating of the cathode l4
cannot sputter onto the anode and cause back
emission. The cathode I4 is located within the 15
inner portion of this bulge 2|, so that the electron
path Will necessarily have to be a round about
path to the anode |'|.
While the bulge 2| may be of any suitable con
?guration, as far as preventing sputtering on the 20
anode and for lengthening the discharge path yet
for the purpose of bringing the mercury vapor
speedily up to the desired pressure, I prefer to
curve the inner portion 22 of this member in a
parabolic or spherical shape. The purpose of 25
curving this member is to provide a surface that
will re?ect the heat from the cathode to the pock
et l3 containing the condensed mercury. The
lines 23, 24, 25, 26, 21, 28, 29, and 3|] indicate the
paths of heat waves from the cathode that are 30
reflected to the surface of the mercury in order
to aid in the vaporization of the same.
Materials similar to mercury may, of course,
be used. In some devices light sensitive mate
rials may be desired and my invention contem 35
plates providing a re?ecting means such as the
dent from the following detailed description taken
in conjunction with the accompanying drawing,
member 2| for re?ecting the light from the hot
cathode onto such substances. In other words,
in which:
my invention is suitable for the re?ection of radi
ant energy Whether this energy be‘ heat or light. 40
The member 22 may act as a grid or control
member by utilizing one of the supporting mem
bers 3|, 32 as a lead for the application of any
The ?gure is a view in cross section of a tube
disclosing a preferred embodiment of my inven
tion.
The tube M has the usual reentrant portion | 1
comprising a press l2 surrounded by the annular
45 trough IS. The trough 53 provides a pocket for
the vaporizable substance such as the mercury I5.
This mercury may, of course, be one or more
globules.
I have disclosed the trough I3 as hav
ing this pocket, but it is apparent that other types
50 of pockets may be utilized for holding the con
densed metallic liquid. A cathode I4 of the type
adapted to be heated is supported on the press by
the lead-in supports Hi. This cathode may be of
any suitable type, but I prefer to utilize the edge
55 wise wound helical ribbon type coated with bari
desired potential thereto.
45
The outer portion of the member 2|! may be
perforated, as shown at 33, for the passage of
electrons and positive ions therethrough. It Will
be noted that the electrons from the hot cathode
will have to pass downward to the holes 33 and 50
then back up to the anode IT. This reverse
path of the electrons will prevent any sputtered
material from the cathode reaching the anode IT.
The member 2|] will also act as a very effective
radiation shield for the heat energy vproduced by 55
2
2,114,886
the cathode and will keep the metallic liquid in
the lower portion of the tube suitably vaporized.
Although I have shown and described a certain
speci?c embodiment of my invention, I am fully
aware
that many modi?cations thereof
are
possible. My invention, therefore, is not to be
restricted except insofar as is necessitated by the
prior art.
I claim as my invention:
10
1. A discharge tube comprising a container, a
cathode adapted to be heated, an anode coop
erating with said cathode, a vaporizable medium
in said container having a position, when not
vaporized, away from direct radiation paths from
15 the major portion of said cathode, and means
re?ecting radiant energy from said cathode to
said vaporizable medium.
2. A discharge tube comprising a container, a
press, a cathode adapted to be heated supported
20 on said press, a pocket beside said press, a
vaporizable medium in said pocket, and means
for reflecting radiant energy from said cathode
to the vaporizable medium in said pocket.
3. A discharge tube comprising a container, a.
re-entrant portion of the container having a
pocket therein, a vaporizable medium in said
pocket, a cathode supported on said reentrant
portion and means re?ecting radiant energy from
said cathode to the vaporizable medium in said
pocket.
4. A discharge tube comprising a container
having a cathode and anode, a member extending
across the container between said cathode and
anode and having a bulge toward said anode, said
cathode being within the bulge part of said mem
ber and a connection for the application of elec
10
trical potential to said member.
5. A discharge tube comprising a container
having a cathode and anode, a member extend~
ing across the container and having a bulge to
ward said anode, said cathode being within said 15
bulge, the portion of the bulge directly between
said anode and cathode being imperforate.
6. A discharge tube comprising a container
having a cathode and anode, a member extend
ing across the container and having a bulge to 20
ward said anode, said cathode being within said
bulge, the portion of the bulge directly between
said anode and cathode being imperforate the
outer portions of said member having perfora
tions.
25
ERWIN F. LOWRY.
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