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A few years ago an EE told me that the Townsend effect was involved in thermal runaway within vacuum tubes. I can't seem to find any specifics on this on the internet. Can anyone disprove / verify and / or explain the claim?

Thanks.

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  • $\begingroup$ One could argue that the Townsend effect actually opposes avalanche since it minimizes ionizing collisions that would lead to more current. $\endgroup$ – Jon Custer May 6 at 14:52
  • $\begingroup$ @JonCuster , Indeed, that was my thought too. I wonder what he meant? I find the subject generally interesting because the townsend effect is such a simple proof of QM without the need for fancy equipment. $\endgroup$ – SR999 May 6 at 14:57

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