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Published January 1926 | Published
Journal Article Open

Vacuum Switching Experiments at California Institute of Technology


Successful experiments in switching or breaking a circuit in a high vacuum have been made at the California Institute of Technology. This paper is a report on three sets of these experiments, which extended over a period of three years. The conclusions drawn from the experiments may be summed up in the statement that vacuum breakers of laboratory type have been successful in breaking circuits and offer a possible solution of the circuit-breaker problem. The results show that switching in vacuum affords the advantages of no pitting of contacts, quick break, the arc always going out on the first half-cycle, small voltage rise across the switch, and small distance of travel necessary for the switch blades. Making the vacuum switch practical calls for a solution of the problem of making commercial apparatus with vacuum-tight joints, and the elimination of the use of liquid air with the vacuum pump.

Additional Information

© 1926 AIEE. Presented at the Pacific Coast Convention of the A. I. E. E., Salt Lake City, Utah, Sept. 6-9, 1926.

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