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RE: re question: Purpose of the mercury

That tube is an ignition and it is essentially a cold cathode high current relay that can switch hundreds to thousands of amps of current. The cathode sits in a pool of mercury and the anode is situated above. A large potential can exist between the two and no current will flow so in this state the switch is "open" The third element is the ignitor which creates an arc that bridges the cathode to the anole allowing large amounts of current to flow. It will remain in the conducting state until the arc is extinguished and then will remain open until the next trigger event. The WL-651 in my magnet charger is designed to be water cooled for continuous operation.


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