Vacuum Thermal Gauges

Authored by: Igor Bello

Vacuum and Ultravacuum

Print publication date:  November  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9781498782043
eBook ISBN: 9781315155364
Adobe ISBN:


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In 1906, Marcello Stefano Pirani 831 , 832 reported using a light bulb for low pressure measurements in a Siemens and Halske factory. The electrical signals, sensed by filaments of light bulbs, changed with the pressure variation in the bulbs. At the core of these changes is the variation in electronic signals due to the thermal conductivity in rarefied gases. Pirani 833 cites works of Kundt and Warburg 834 who published an article on thermal conductivity gases much earlier. Smoluchowski’s paper 835 on the friction and thermal conductivity in rarefied gases (1898) precedes the first report of Pirani too. In 1906, Voege 836 also published a design of a gauge that operates on the principle of thermal conductivity in rarefied gases. However, he employed a thermocouple to measure the filament temperature. A couple of decades later, Becker et al. 837 used a thermistor as a pressure-sensing element. Despite these sensing elements being electronically different components, all these gauges work on the principle of changing the gas thermal conductivity with variation in the gas pressure. Therefore, all these gauges belong to the same group of thermal conductivity gauges.

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