This edition fills a gap in the western literature by presenting detailed results of recent Soviet and Russian research. The authors present a systematic theoretical treatment of phenoma that lead to electrical breakdown of gases and plasmas by walls, including electron drift and impact ionization, diffusion, photoionization, and resonance radiation transfer.

Wave phenomena determining discharge development in gas gaps @ dynamics of streamers: development of an electron avalanche; propagation of anode and cathode-directed streamers; Ionization waves in discharge tubes and in a sliding discharge formation system: experimental study of ionization waves in discharge tubes; formation of a sliding discharge @ Macroscopic and kinetic description of a weakly ionized gas in an electric field @ basic macroscopic equations; local approach for the frequency of impact ionization: Townsend ionization coefficient and frequency of ionizatin by an electronic impact; conditions of applicability of the local approach-equation @ Theory of plane ionization waves @ stationary plane electric breakdown waves: ionization-drift models of anode and cathode-directed waves; influence of diffusion and photoprocesses on the plane breakdown waves; general properties of nonstationary ionization fronts: integrals of nonstationary equations-reduction of a general problem to the Cauchy problem for the elctric field distribution; solution of the Cauchy problem by method of characteristics; dynamics of formation of anode and cathode-directed waves from initial nonuniformities: asymptotic behavior of solution of the Cauchy problem for a finite initial distribution of electron concentraton; development of ionization waves from infinitely extended distribution of electron concentration @ Propagation of ionizing electric-field solitary waves in shielded discharge tubes with preionization @ basic equations and assumptions; effect of surface wave on the formation of ionization wave; averaging two-dimensional equations and formulation of quasi-one-dimensional model; numerical simulation of stationary waves; analytical model of ionization waves; specialized problems of theory of breakdown waves in tubes with preionization: limiting transition of nonlinear model of electric potential diffusion; emergence of oscillatin structure of ionization wave; effect of a longitudinal magnetic field on structure of fast ionization wave @ Propagation of electric breakdown waves along a gas-dielectric boundary with no preionization @ breakdown waves in shielded tubes without preionization: taking account of associative ionization and resonance radiation transfer; results of numerical calculations of breakdown stationary waves; analytical estimate of breakdown wave velocity; propagation of sliding discharge front as an ionization wave: assumed equations and problem statement; formulating a calculated model of stationary wave; structure and velocity of front propagation; slow breakdown waves in shielded tubes: features of quasi-one-dimensional solution describing slow waves; influence of longitudinal magnetic field on the structure of slow waves; solitary waves of electric field as source of runaway electrons

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