OSA's Digital Library

Journal of the Optical Society of America

Journal of the Optical Society of America

  • Vol. 52, Iss. 10 — Oct. 1, 1962
  • pp: 1156–1161

Carbon Arc as a Radiation Standard

M. R. NULL and W. W. LOZIER  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA, Vol. 52, Issue 10, pp. 1156-1161 (1962)

View Full Text Article

Acrobat PDF (1002 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



The value of a carbon arc with properly chosen graphite electrodes and operating conditions as a reproducible high-temperature source of radiation has been recognized for a long time. Many studies both in this country and abroad have shown that the crater of the positive electrode has a brightness temperature at wavelengths near 6500 Å which falls very close to 3800°K, with a deviation of probably less than ±20°K. However, a number of scattered observations have shown small effects of operating conditions such as current, angular arrangement of electrodes, and size and composition of electrodes. New studies of these variables, including measurements of spectral and total radiance, have clearly defined operating conditions under which the crater radiates like a blackbody at 3800°K over the entire wavelength range 3000°-42 000 Å except for molecular radiation at specific wavelengths.

M. R. NULL and W. W. LOZIER, "Carbon Arc as a Radiation Standard," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 52, 1156-1161 (1962)

Sort:  Author  |  Journal  |  Reset


  1. H. G. MacPherson, "The Carbon Arc as a Radiation Standard," Temperature—Its Measurement and Control in Science and Industry (Reinhold Publishing Corporation, New York, 1941), pp. 1141–1149; for a later draft of this same material see also J. Opt. Soc. Am. 30, 189 (1940).
  2. N. K. Chaney, V. C. Hamister, and S. W. Glass, Trans. Am. Electrochem. Soc. 67, 107 (1935).
  3. Electrodes of the types and purity recommended by Mac-Pherson are available from National Carbon Company, Division of Union Carbide Corporation, as "National" Grade AGKSP Graphite and "National" Grade L113SP Carbon Electrodes. ("National" is a registered trademark of Union Carbide Corporation.)
  4. W. Finkelnburg, The High Current Carbon Arc (Department of Commerce Publication PB-81644, FIAT Final Report 1052, 1947), pp. 39, 40; also W. Finkelnburg, Hochstromkohlebogen (Springer-Verlag, Berlin-Göttingen-Heidelberg, 1948), pp. 61–63.
  5. W. Göing, Z. Physik 131, 603 (1952).
  6. J. Euler, Sitzber. Heidelberg. Akad. Wiss. Math. naturw. Kl. Abhandl. 4, 418 (1956/57).
  7. J. Euler, Ann. Physik 11, 203 (1953).
  8. C. Krygsman, Physica 5, 918 (1938).
  9. D. M. Packer and C. Lock, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 42, 879 (1952).
  10. E. F. Worden, Jr., University of California Radiation Lab. Rept. No. 8509 (1958). Strictly speaking, Worden used a 1/4-in. diameter spectroscopic graphite anode but employed a 5.8 mm diameter cored microprojector cathode. The cored cathode is known to decrease the plasma temperature but would not be expected to reduce appreciably the temperature of the anode crater face.
  11. J. Euler, Ann. Physik 14, 145 (1954).
  12. J. Euler, Ann. Physik 18, 345 (1956).
  13. J. Euler and R. Ludwig, Arbeitsmethoden der optischen Pyrometrie Verlag Braun, Karlsruhe, 1960). We are indebted to Dr. Euler for proof sheets from this publication.
  14. M. T. Jones, R. J. Zavesky, and W. W. Lozier, J. Soc. Motion Picture Engrs. 45, 10 (1945).
  15. Manufactured by Strong Electric Corporation, Toledo, Ohio.
  16. Manufactured by Mole-Richardson Company, Hollywood, California. Subsequent to the experimental work reported in this paper, the Mole-Richardson Company has manufactured a commercial unit, designated Pyrometric Molarc Lamp Type No. 2371 and Power Supply Type No. 2381, designed to operate with the carbons under the conditions described in this paper.
  17. J. C. DeVos, Physica 20, 690 (1954).
  18. R. J. Corruccini, J. Research Natl. Bur. Standards 43, 133 (1949).
  19. See reference 11, p. 164.
  20. F. S. Johnson, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 46, 103 (1956).
  21. W. W. Lozier, "Development of Graphite and Graphite-Base Multicomponent Materials for High Temperature Service," Wright Air Development Center Tech. Rept. 59–789 (1959), pp. 62–74.
  22. M. R. Null and W. W. Lozier, J. Appl. Phys. 29, 1605 (1958).
  23. The negative electrode is usually positioned transversely and axially to maintain the crater face at right angles to the axis of the positive electrode.

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited