LBNL Report Number
A novel mercury-argon discharge tube is described. It incorporates two identical condensation pump cold spots that are employed to determine both the mercury sorption rate and the coefficient of free diffusion for mercury in argon. Equilibration periods for this system are found to depend in part on the temperature difference between the two cold-spot surfaces, and on the separation of these surfaces. Sorption of mercury at the discharge tubes surface, and the subsequent cleanup of the mercury charge, is determined by the time rate of change of the equilibration period.
Data accumulated during these tests are incorporated into the design scheme of discharge tubes intended for Zeeman-effect and isotope blending studies described elsewhere.