This chapter presents the fundamentals of electrical discharges in gases considering gaseous discharge plasma. It discusses microwave methods for the study of gaseous discharges; the mechanism of deionization—electron removal from a plasma by diffusion and recombination of electrons with positive ions; excitation and ionization processes in decaying gas discharge plasmas—structure of the afterglow; temperature determination of an electron gas in gaseous discharge plasmas; and mobility of positive ions in monatomic gases-formation of molecular ions in the rare gases. The plasma is the region of gaseous discharge where the space charge of the charge carriers of one sign is largely compensated by that of the charge carriers of opposite sign. The chapter considers mainly those plasmas which are produced in the monatomic gases or in nonelectronegative gases. Two types of gas discharge plasmas are considered: active and inactive. An active plasma is one in which an electrical discharge (or ionization) is maintained by a certain source of energy, such as a d.c. or a.c. electric field or a time-varying magnetic field. In opposition to such an active plasma, an inactive plasma is one in which no ionization is taking place.
Goldstein, L. (1955). Electrical Discharge in Gases and Modern Electronics. Advances in Electronics and Electron Physics, 7(C), 399–503. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0065-2539(08)60962-2