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US3157823A - Luminous bodies energized by standing waves - Google Patents

Luminous bodies energized by standing waves Download PDF

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US3157823A
US3157823A US16513362A US3157823A US 3157823 A US3157823 A US 3157823A US 16513362 A US16513362 A US 16513362A US 3157823 A US3157823 A US 3157823A
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standing
wave
conductors
length
waves
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Fred D Clapp
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ETZON CORP
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ETZON CORP
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    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01JELECTRIC DISCHARGE TUBES OR DISCHARGE LAMPS
    • H01J65/00Lamps without any electrode inside the vessel; Lamps with at least one main electrode outside the vessel
    • H01J65/04Lamps in which a gas filling is excited to luminesce by an external electromagnetic field or by external corpuscular radiation, e.g. for indicating plasma display panels
    • H01J65/042Lamps in which a gas filling is excited to luminesce by an external electromagnetic field or by external corpuscular radiation, e.g. for indicating plasma display panels by an external electromagnetic field
    • H01J65/044Lamps in which a gas filling is excited to luminesce by an external electromagnetic field or by external corpuscular radiation, e.g. for indicating plasma display panels by an external electromagnetic field the field being produced by a separate microwave unit

Description

17, 1964 F. D. cLAPP LUMINOUS BODIES ENERGIZED BY STANDING WAVES Filed Jan. 9, 1962 VOL TA 65 OSC/LL ATOR EIEJI:

VOLTAGE OSCILLATOR 2Ia. I20.

IE I E-. 3

INVENTOR.

FRED D. CLAPP BY 524 M ATTORNEYS 18 .Lmg T E I Era:

United States Patent l 3,157,d23 LUh/HNUUS EQDKES ENEKEGEZED STANEING WA JE Fred l). (Ilapp, Berkeley, Caliii, assignor to Etzon Corporation, lierireley, Calih, a corporation of California Filed .lan. 9, P962, Ser. No. 165,133 13 Claims. (Cl. 3i5-1l69) The present invention relates to improvements in luminous bodies and more particularly to luminous bodies which are lighted through ionizable gaseous lighting agents.

A luminous body of this character is disclosed and claimed in the United States Patent No. 2,644,113 of Walter V. Etzkorn. As shown therein, a typical unit comprises a tube or similar structure made of a flexible, light-transmitting material having spaced sources of light in the form of ampoules or cavities containing luminous gas adapted to be rendered active for illumination by radio-frequency Waves or similar agents. Specifically, the unit contains a pair of spaced antennae disposed in adjacent relation to the volumes of gas, and means for impressing a high-frequency standing wave upon the conductors for illuminating the gas.

These units can be made in tubular or panel form, and in either form, considerable lengths of spaced antennae are often used. In such cases, it was found that certain problems were encountered when the longitudinal dimensions of the extended body was of the order of half wave length or longer. Such problems arise because of the characteristic of the standing Wave of changing from a maximum to a minimum voltage during each quarter wave length. Thus units of the order of a half a wave length necessarily have a standing wave which exhibits minimum voltage over a portion thereof. Accordingly, means are needed in such cases to avoid insufiicient excitation for illumination in these areas.

One method of solving this problem is shown in United States Patent No. 2,833,964 of Walter V. Etzkorn, where dark sections are eliminated by reducing the active length of the low voltage sections along the tube and to concentrate them into a small area. In the patented improvement, this is awornplished by looping out the low voltage sections using lumped-constant circuits or networks or equivalents.

The present invention is directed to another method of solving this problem by utilizing a plurality of standing waves which are provided in spaced relation so as to avoid any low voltage areas. In a preferred form, there are two standing waves utilized along the length of spaced sources of light so that the maxima of one wave are substantially at the minima of the other.

Accordingly it is a primary object of this invention to provide an improved illuminating device containing light sources responsive to high-frequency standing waves which provide a long continuous field of sufiicient strength to activate the light sources at all areas along the length of the device.

Another object of the invention is to provide an illuminating device of the character described which utilizes standing waves in such a manner that a substantially continuous excitation field is provided along lengths longer than one-half of the wave length of the standing wave.

A further object of this invention is the provision of an illuminating device of the character described which is simple in construction and efficient in operation.

Further objects and advantages of my invention will be apparent as the specification progresses, and the new and useful features of my luminous bodies will be fully defined in the claims attached hereto.

The preferred form of my invention are illustrated in 3,157,823 Patented Nov. 17, 1964 the accompanying drawing forming part of this application, in which:

FIGURE 1 shows a length of a luminous tube of one form of my invention with representations of the standing waves existing between two pairs of conductors shown in juxtaposition thereto;

FIGURE 2, a cross-sectional view of the luminous tube taken substantially on the plane of line 2--2 of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 3 shows a length of a luminous tube of another embodiment of my invention with representations of standing waves existing between two pairs of conductors shown in juxtaposition thereto; and

FIGURE 4, a representation of the antennae circuits utilized in the embodiment of FIGURE 3.

While I have shown only the preferred forms of my invention, it should be understood that various changes or modifications may be made within the scope of the claims attached hereto without departing from the spirit of the invention.

Referring to the drawing in detail, FIGURE 1 shows a transparent tube 11 having ampoules or hollow beads 12 disposed at spaced intervals within the tube, a first pair of antennae or conductors 13 extending longitudinally within the tube adjacent to the arnpoules 12, and a second pair of antennae or conductors 14 extending longitudinally within the tube adjacent to the ampoules.

The ampoules 12 are similar to those described in the Etzkorn patents cited above and preferably comprise a confined and sealed space containing an ionizable gas. The ampoules are preferably made of glass so as to be capable of holding a high vacuum and they also have a phosphor coating 16 on either the inner or outer surface thereof. This phosphor coating is activated to emit light when excited by ultraviolet radiation and the radiation is provided by the ionizable gas.

The gas may be any type known to provide ultraviolet light or the like when electrically ionized, and a typical example is a 7 mm. fill of a substance consisting of 2% helium, 98% argon and a trace of mercury. It should be understood, however, that many suitable gases are available and that I do not limit myself to any particular formula. Similarly many types of phosphors may be used and their location may be anywhere within range to be excited by the radiation from the gas. For example, the phosphor may be coated on the tube 11 or other more remote locations.

The pair of antennae 13 are preferably disposed along the ampoules 12 and may be fastened thereto in order to hold the ampoules in spaced relation. In order to provide maximum excitation, the antennae or conductors 13- are preferably diametrically opposed to each other. Similarly the antennae 14 are preferably diametrically op posed and the two pairs may be placed as shown in FIG- URE 2.

As best seen in FIGURE 1, standing wave 17 is impressed on antennae 13 and standing wave 18 is impressed on antennae 14 when plugged into oscillator 19 at 21 and the oscillator is turned on. As shown in the drawing, the standing waves are in spaced relationship so that the maxirna of wave 17 correspond to the minima of wave 18. in the embodiments shown in FIGURES 1 and 2, the total available voltage for exciting the ionizable gas is represented as the sealer magnitude of the vector sum of the standing waves by the substantially constant value of dotted line 22.

In the embodiment of FIGURE 1, the space phase shift is provided by having the conductors 13 closed at the end 23 so as to provide minimum voltage at the end and impress Wave 17 on the ampoules, while having the conductors 14 open at the end of the tube opposite that adapted to plug into the oscillator so as to provide maximum voltage at the end and impress wave 18 on the ampoules. Prefera ly, the arrangement shown is used where oscillator 19 is plugged into the conductors 13 and 14 at a place where waves 17 and 18 have the same voltage as at point 25. When this point is not at the end of the light-transmissive body assembly, a blank section 24 of conductors 13 and 14 may be provided.

The transparenttubesll may be made of any suitable material, but I prefer to use a transparent plastic such as polyvinyl chloride. The tubing may be stiff or flexible as desired depending on the desired use of the unit. Where thetube is flexible, it is preferred to have the pairs of conductors cross over between ampoules to prevent the conductors from unduly stiffening the tubing. This may :be accomplished by twisting the ampoules.

Although the tubing is shown as having a circular cross-section, it is also possible to use any desired shape, and the term tube should be construed to mean plastic bar, strip, pipe and similar forms. It should also be appreciated that'the tube serves as a housing and is not essential to the operation of the unit. Thus the tube serves to carry the other elements in the desired position and also serves to protect the other parts.

As indicated above, it is an important feature of the invention that the standing waves are plural and provide a vector sum of the voltages that is preferably constant and is suificient at all places to activate the ionizable gas. An alternative embodiment using two standing waves which are-in spaced disposition of one-quarter wave length from each other, is shown in FIGURE 3. In this embodiment sections 26 of the luminous body assembly are provided which are constructed to plug together as at 27 toprovide any desired length.

In other respects, the embodiment of FIGURE 3 is similar to that of FIGURE 1 except for the method of spacing the standing waves. Thus the body assembly of FIGURE 3 contains a transparent tube 11a having ampoules 12a disposed within the tube, a pair of conductors 13a and apair of conductors 14a ex-tending longitudinally within the tube adjacent the ampoules. At one end, the conductors 13a and 14a are plugged into oscillator 19a through socket 21a. All parts are numbered to correspond to similar par-ts of FIGURE 1, and the general description of the parts of FIGURE -1 are applicable to the corresponding parts of FIGURE 3.

Thus standing wave 17a is impressed on antennae 13a and standing wave 18a is impressed upon antennae 14a.

As illustrated in the drawing, the waves are again spaced one-quarter Wave length from each other. However, the beginning and end of the unit has the same voltage in each wave. This allows the unit to be built in sections 26 with each section being a multiple of one-quarter wave length. The sections may be the same length or different lengths; for example one section could be a quarter wave length, another section a half wave length and another section could be a whole Wave length.

In order toprovide the same voltage in the two standing Waves at the terminals of the unit when using multiple quarter wave length sections as described above, the terminal arrangement of FIGURE 4 is used in lieu of the open and short circuit termination shown in FIGURE 1. Thus antennae 13:: are connected at their ends through inductance 28 which serves to simulate an eighth wave length of short-circuited transmission line by having a magnitude of reactance equal to the characteristic impedance of such a line. Similarly, antennae 14a are connected to their ends through capacitance 29 which simulates an eighth wave length of open-circuited transmission line by having a magnitude of reactance equal to the characteristic impedance of such a line.

In a typical example, an oscillator having an output frequency of 13.56 megacycles is used. This would ordinarily provide a Wave of about 72 feet but this wave length is affected by'the load it is impressed upon. Thus for a typical unit the wave length is about, say, 48 feet. In such cases, units which are multiples of 12 feet may be used, and I have found units 24 feet in length to be eminently satisfactory.

From the foregoing description, it is apparent that many variations of the invention may be designed, and although I have shown two pairs of antennae the important feature is the provision of a plurality of standing waves in spaced relation adjacent to the bodies to be activated. Thus, two waves could be impressed with three conductors being utilized by using one conductor as an element of two antennae. It is also possible to use more than four conductors and more than two standing waves if desired.

I claim:

1. An illuminating device adapted to be illuminated by high-frequency standing waves, comprising a light transmissive body assembly, said body assembly incorporating a series of discrete, confined and sealed spaces containing a low pressure ionizable gas, high-frequency electrical means for providing standing waves, antenna means electrically connected to the high-frequency electrical means for propagating the illuminating high-frequency waves, said antenna means including a first pair of conductors extending along the effective length of the body assembly for providing a first standing wave adjacent the spaces containing said gas, a second pair of conductors extending along the effective length of the body assembly for providing a second standing wave adjacent the spaces containing said gas, and means associated with said first and said second pair of conductors for spacing the standing waves along the length of the body assembly so that the maxima of one wave is substantially at the minima of the other.

2. An illuminating device adapted to be illuminated by high-frequency standing waves, comprising a light transmissive body assembly, said body assembly incorporating a series of discrete, confined and sealedspaces containing a low pressure ionizable gas, high-frequency electrical means for providing standing waves, antenna means electrically connected to the high-frequency electrical means for propagating the illuminating high-frequency waves, said antenna means including a first pair of conductors extending along the effective length of the body assembly for providing a first standing wave adjacent the spaces containing said gas, said first pair of conductors being open at the end opposite the end connected to the highfrequency electrical means, and a second pair of conductors extending along the effective length of the body assembly for providing a second standing wave adjacent the spaces containing said gas, said second pair of conductors being closed at the end opposite the end connected to the high-frequency electrical means.

3. The illuminating device defined in claim 2, in which the high-frequency electrical means includes an oscillator connected to both pairs of conductors at a point where the standing wave voltages are the same.

4. An illuminating device adapted to be illuminated by high-frequency standing waves, comprising a light transmissive body assembly, said body assembly incorporating a series of discrete, confined and sealed spaces containing a low pressure ionizable gas, high-frequency electrical means for providing standing waves, antenna means electrically connected to the high-frequency electrical means for propagating the illuminating high-frequency waves, said antenna means including a first pair of conductors extending along the effective length of the body assembly for providing a first standing wave adjacent the spaces containing said gas, said first pair of conductors having an inductance connected therebetween at the end opposite the end connected to the high frequency electrical means, and a second pair of conductors extending along the effective length of the body assembly for providing a second standing wave adjacent the spaces containing said gas, said second pair of conductors having a condenser connected therebetween at the end opposite the end connected to the high-frequency electrical means.

5. The illuminating device defined in claim 4, in which the high-frequency electrical means includes an oscillator connected at its output to both of said pairs of conductors at a point where the standing wave voltages are the same. 6. The illuminating device defined in claim 5', in which the device is composed of a plurality of sections each being of a length which is a multiple of one-fourth of the wave length of the standing waves utilized.

7. An illuminating device adapted to be illuminated by high-frequency standing waves comprising a light transmissive body assembly having an effective length of at least about one-half wave length of the illuminating highfrequency waves, said body assembly incorporating a series of discrete, confined and sealed spaces containing a low pressure ionizable gas, a first pair of conductors extending along the effective length of the body assembly for providing a first standing wave adjacent the spaces containing said gas, a second pair of conductors extending along the effective length of the body assembly for providing a second standing wave adjacent the spaces containing said gas, means associated with said first and said second pair of conductors for spacing the standing waves along the length of the body assembly so that the maxima of one wave is located substantially at the minima of the other, and high-frequency electrical means for providing standing waves in said pairs of conductors.

8. An illuminating device adapted to be illuminated by high-frequency standing waves comprising a light-transmissive body assembly having an eifective length of at least about one-half wave length of the illuminating highfrequency waves, said body assembly incorporating a series of discrete, confined and sealed spaces containing an ionizable gas, a first pair of conductors extending along the effective length of the body assembly for providing a first standing wave adjacent the spaces containing said gas, said first pair of conductors being open at one end of the body assembly, a second pair of conductors extending along the effective length of the body assembly for providing a second standing wave adjacent the spaces containing said gas, said second pair of conductors being closed at the end of the body assembly where said first pair of conductors are open, and high-frequency electrical means connected to said pairs of conductors at the end of the body assembly opposite said end where said first pair of conductors are open.

9. The illuminating device defined in claim 8, in which the high-frequency electrical means includes an oscillator connected to both pairs of conductors at a point where the standing wave voltages are the same.

10. The illuminating device defined in claim 8, in which both pairs of conductors extend beyond said body assembly at one end thereof.

11. An illuminating device adapted to be illuminated by high-frequency standing waves comprising a light transmissive body assembly having an efiective length of at least about one-half wave length of the illuminating high-frequency waves, said body assembly incorporating a series of discrete, confined and sealed spaces containing an ionizable gas, a first pair of conductors extending along the effective length of the body assembly for providing a first standing wave adjacent the spaces containing said gas, said first pair of conductors having an inductance connected therebetween at one end of the body assembly, a second pair of conductors extending along the effective length of the body assembly for providing a second standing wave adjacent the spaces containing said gas, said second pair of conductors having a capacitance connected therebetween at the end of the body assembly where the inductance is located, and high-frequency electricalmeans connected to said conductors at the end of the body assembly opposite the end where the inductance and capacitance are located.

12. The illuminating device defined in claim 11, in which the high-frequency electrical means includes an oscillator connected to both pairs of conductors at a point where the standing wave voltages are the same.

13. The illuminating device defined in claim 12, in which the device is composed of a plurality of sections each being of a length which is a multiple of one-fourth of the wave length of the standing waves utilized.

Etzkorn June 30, 1953 Etzkorn May 6, 1958

Claims (1)

1. AN ILLUMINATING DEVICE ADAPTED TO BE ILLUMINATED BY HIGH-FREQUENCY STANDING WAVES, COMPRISING A LIGHT TRANSMISSIVE BODY ASSEMBLY, SAID BODY ASSEMBLY INCORPORATING A SERIES OF DISCRETE, CONFINED AND SEALED SPACES CONTAINING A LOW PRESSURE IONIZABLE GAS, HIGH-FREQUENCY ELECTRICAL MEANS FOR PROVIDING STANDING WAVES, ANTENNA MEANS ELECTRICALLY CONNECTED TO THE HIGH-FREQUENCY ELECTRICAL MEANS FOR PROPAGATING THE ILLUMINATING HIGH-FREQUENCY WAVES, SAID ANTENNA MEANS INCLUDING A FIRST PAIR OF CONDUCTORS EXTENDING ALONG THE EFFECTIVE LENGTH OF THE BODY ASSEMBLY FOR PROVIDING A FIRST STANDING WAVE ADJACENT THE SPACES CONTAINING SAID GAS, A SECOND PAIR OF CONDUCTORS EXTENDING ALONG THE EFFECTIVE LENGTH OF THE BODY ASSEMBLY FOR PROVIDING A SECOND STANDING WAVE ADJACENT THE SPACES CONTAINING SAID GAS, AND MEANS ASSOCIATED WITH SAID FIRST AND SAID SECOND PAIR OF CONDUCTORS FOR SPACING THE STANDING WAVES ALONG THE LENGTH OF THE BODY ASSEMBLY SO THAT THE MAXIMA OF ONE WAVE IS SUBSTANTIALLY AT THE MINIMA OF THE OTHER.
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Cited By (10)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3509421A (en) * 1967-09-11 1970-04-28 Burroughs Corp Plasma gas-filled display device
US3543083A (en) * 1967-09-15 1970-11-24 Bendix Corp Method and means for providing a display of moving bands of light
US3590154A (en) * 1969-01-27 1971-06-29 Anthony C Moricca Television display system utilizing scanning by a single electric pulse
US4035690A (en) * 1974-10-25 1977-07-12 Raytheon Company Plasma panel display device including spheroidal glass shells
US4471350A (en) * 1980-09-12 1984-09-11 Chow Shing C Display device using a discharge lamp
EP0225753A2 (en) * 1985-12-10 1987-06-16 The Regents Of The University Of California Instantaneous and efficient surface wave excitation of a low pressure gas or gases
US4712046A (en) * 1986-11-14 1987-12-08 Gte Laboratories Incorporated Quadrature-coupled microwave electrodeless lamp
EP0357451A1 (en) * 1988-09-02 1990-03-07 Ge Lighting Limited A discharge tube arrangement
US4990829A (en) * 1989-04-21 1991-02-05 Potomac Photonics, Inc. High frequency discharge apparatus with hollow waveguide input section
US5227698A (en) * 1992-03-12 1993-07-13 Fusion Systems Corporation Microwave lamp with rotating field

Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2644113A (en) * 1950-05-22 1953-06-30 Walter V Etzkorn Luminous body
US2833964A (en) * 1953-03-02 1958-05-06 Walter V Etzkorn Luminous bodies

Patent Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2644113A (en) * 1950-05-22 1953-06-30 Walter V Etzkorn Luminous body
US2833964A (en) * 1953-03-02 1958-05-06 Walter V Etzkorn Luminous bodies

Cited By (12)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3509421A (en) * 1967-09-11 1970-04-28 Burroughs Corp Plasma gas-filled display device
US3543083A (en) * 1967-09-15 1970-11-24 Bendix Corp Method and means for providing a display of moving bands of light
US3590154A (en) * 1969-01-27 1971-06-29 Anthony C Moricca Television display system utilizing scanning by a single electric pulse
US4035690A (en) * 1974-10-25 1977-07-12 Raytheon Company Plasma panel display device including spheroidal glass shells
US4471350A (en) * 1980-09-12 1984-09-11 Chow Shing C Display device using a discharge lamp
EP0225753A2 (en) * 1985-12-10 1987-06-16 The Regents Of The University Of California Instantaneous and efficient surface wave excitation of a low pressure gas or gases
EP0225753A3 (en) * 1985-12-10 1988-11-02 The Regents Of The University Of California Instantaneous and efficient surface wave excitation of a low pressure gas or gases
US4792725A (en) * 1985-12-10 1988-12-20 The United States Of America As Represented By The Department Of Energy Instantaneous and efficient surface wave excitation of a low pressure gas or gases
US4712046A (en) * 1986-11-14 1987-12-08 Gte Laboratories Incorporated Quadrature-coupled microwave electrodeless lamp
EP0357451A1 (en) * 1988-09-02 1990-03-07 Ge Lighting Limited A discharge tube arrangement
US4990829A (en) * 1989-04-21 1991-02-05 Potomac Photonics, Inc. High frequency discharge apparatus with hollow waveguide input section
US5227698A (en) * 1992-03-12 1993-07-13 Fusion Systems Corporation Microwave lamp with rotating field

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