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Physics/breakdown voltage vacuum


Good day.

What is the breakdown voltage vacuum?

Thank you

Hello Marian,

That term refers to the maximum voltage that can be applied between 2 electrodes in vacuum before breakdown occurs and arcing takes place across the gap. The voltage at which arcing occurs would be called breakdown voltage in vacuum.

I have pasted in links to 3 websites that discuss this -- 2 of them in detail.

I hope this helps,


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Steve Johnson


I would be delighted to help with questions up through the first year of college Physics. Particularly Electricity, Electronics and Newtonian Mechanics (motion, acceleration etc.). I decline questions on relativity and Atomic Physics. I also could discuss the Space Shuttle and space flight in general.


I have a BS in Physics and an MS in Electrical Engineering. I am retired now. My professional career was in Electrical Engineering with considerable time spent working with accelerometers, gyroscopes and flight dynamics (Physics related topics) while working on the Space Shuttle. I gave formal classroom lessons to technical co-workers periodically over a several year period.

BS Physics, North Dakota State University
MS Electrical Engineering, North Dakota State University

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