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?


  • $\begingroup$ 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

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.