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Publication numberUS2847603 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 12, 1958
Filing dateNov 28, 1956
Priority dateNov 28, 1956
Publication numberUS 2847603 A, US 2847603A, US-A-2847603, US2847603 A, US2847603A
InventorsDouglas C Engelbart
Original AssigneeDigital Tech Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Glow discharge device
US 2847603 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

D. C. ENGELBART GLOW DISCHARGE DEVICE Filed Nov. 28, 1956 INVENTOR. fiau /ar e/arr Aug. 12, 1958' GLOW DISCHARGE DEVICE Douglas C. Engelbart, Oakland, Calif., assignor to Digital Techniques, Inc., Berkeley, Calif., a corporation of California Application November 28, 1956, Serial No. 624,906

10 Claims. (Cl. 313-188) The invention relates to gaseous discharge devices such as counter tubes, and the like, used in the computer and other arts, and more particularly to such devices as are adaptable to, and form part of, a serial shifting register of the general type disclosed in my copending applicatrons:

Serial No. Filed For July 12, l955 Electric Discharge Device. 29, 1956.-.. Glow Discharge Device.

0. Electric Controlled Information-bearing Device.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a glow discharge device of the character described, which utilizes a basic construction adaptable to' a wide variety of shapes and forms, both as to outward dimensions and to the arrangement, shape and form of the glow channel and the formation of individualized cells thus readily adapting the unit to a variety of particular applications.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a glow discharge device of the character above, which is composed of a minimum number of inert, durable and sturdily formed parts adaptable to relatively low cost mass production techniques while yet readiiy maintained to close manufacturing tolerances and which will afford along and trouble free life.

The invention possesses other objects and features of advantage, some of which, with the foregoing, will be set forth in the following description of the preferred form of the invention which is illustrated in the drawing accompanying and forming part of the specification. is understood, however, that variations in the showing by said drawing and description may be adopted within the scope of the invention as set forth in the claims.

Referring to said drawings:

Figure 1 is a side elevation of a glow discharge device constructed in accordance with the present invention.

Figure 2 is a view similar to Figure 1, but showing the envelope in cross section and an interior member partly in cross section for clarity of illustration.

Figure 3 is an end view of the device.

The glow discharge device of the present invention consists briefly of a sealed envelope 6 containing an ionizable gas such as neon, an internal member 7 formed of dielectric material and having a groove 8 in one side thereof and mounted in the envelope so as to define a ied States Pat ice gaseous discharge channel along the groove, and a plurality of electrodes 11 which are arrayed along the channel to control glow discharge therein and here provide a plurality of discrete glow discharge stations in the channel opposite the electrodes. As an important feature of the present invention, the discharge channel is formed in the separate dielectric member 7 and this member '7 and its groove or channel 8 may be made by molding, machining or other fabrication from inert plastic or ceramic materials to afford a wide variety of shapes, lengths and sizes of the channel as may be desired for particular applications. For example, the member 7 may be made from lava-like ceramic materials, such as Al Si Mag 222 made by American Lava Corporation, which may be readily machined by conventional tools to cut, mill or otherwise form the groove 8. Closing of the normally open side of the groove 8 in order to confine the channel may be effected by the juxtapositioning of another piece of dielectric material across the side of the member 7, or, as here shown, by the mounting of such side at the internal wall 9 of the envelope so that the envelope provides the channel closing side of the groove 8.

Preferably, the groove 8 is caused to course the side of the member 7 in a manner augmenting the length of the groove, and this is conveniently accomplished in the present construction by forming the envelope 6 and the internal member 7 of concentric inter-engaging form and by forming the groove 8 as a helical spiral groove in the periphery in member 7 over the full length of the member as depicted in Figure 2.

As will be observed from Figures 1 and 2 of the drawings, the coursing of the groove 8 around the periphery of member '7 produces a plurality of substantially parallel runs which not only augment the length of the channel, but permit the traversing of such runs of a plurality of elongated electrodes 11 which may be positioned with their lengths substantially perpendicular to the runs so that each of the electrodes 11 may span all of the runs. Preferably, a plurality of such electrodes 11, here 18 in number, are mounted in circumferentially spaced and longitudinally or axially extending relation on the envelope 6, the electrode separation and the helix diameter being coordinated so that cells of like phase are adjacent axially, and therefore the driving lines can be straight. As a further feature of the device, these electrodes may be mounted -on the outside surface 12 of the envelope out of contact with the low pressure ionizable gas. If desired, the electrodes 11 may be formed as metallic deposits on the outside envelope surface 12 by techniques used in the making of printed circuits. Electrical contact with the electrodes ll. may be effected by means of a suitable surrounding socket (not shown) having contacts suitably positioned to engage the electrodes 11 The envelope 6 may be made of glass, such as com monly employed for the manufacture of vacuum tubes, and may be filled with various gases used for electrical discharge tubes, including neon, argon etc., at commonly employed pressures i. e., approximately 10 or 15 mm. Hg.

The groove 8 may be formed as a single continuous length, or may be bifilar in form, or a greater number of parallel side by side grooves may be provided. In any event, if the one groove, or the plurality of grooves, is arranged with parallel runs, they may be serviced by a single longitudinally extending electrode such as the common electrode 11 traversing all of them. The outer periphery 13 of the inner member is preferably held to fairly close tolerances viz., a sliding fit within the internal surface 9 of the envelope so as to preserve the integrity of the gas channel defined by the groove 8.

. I have found that a pattern of discrete glows or no glows along the channel 8 can be readily sustained at the several stations by approximately energizing elec 3 trodes 11, disposed at one side of the channel 8, and by positioning a common, or ground, electrode 16 at the other side of the channel. I have found, further, that by using R.-F. voltage excitation in the order of 2025 megacycles per second and of a magnitude of 60 to 150 volts R. M. S., a glow excitation can be sustained even though the electrodes 11 and 16 are spaced some distance from the channel itself, even at the outer sides of the intervening glass envelope l6 and ceramic member 7. As will be readily understood, the use of externally positioned electrodes such as electrodes 11 physically isolated from the separately hermetically sealed ionizable gas afiords many advantages in facility in design, simplified construction and long life of the unit.

In keeping with the foregoing, internal member 7 is here fabricated of tubular form and a common (ground) electrode 16 is mounted at the internal periphery ll? of the member over the full length of the member, as seen in Figure 2, so as to lie opposite the base of the groove or channel 8 over its full length. Preferably, the member lid is formed as a separate metal sleeve fitted Within the internal surface 17 of the member 7.

The construction and operation of serial shifting registers of the type to which the present invention relates is more fully disclosed in my copending applications aforesaid and briefly depends, in its functioning, upon four principal characteristics, bistability, localizability, priming and transfer of high frequency electrodeless discharge. The volume in channel 8 under each of the electrodes 11 becomes an individual cell capable of a localized glow discharge. This cell has bistability, that is, over a range of applied operating R.-F. voltage, there will exist no glow discharge unless such a discharge was introduced by the priming action of a glow discharge in an adjacent cell, in which case the applied voltage will sustain glow discharge so long as the voltage is applied. Two stable states are thus obtained. As Will be understood, as the excitation is removed from a (first) cell, and the adjacent (second) cell has theretofore been, or is immediately thereafter, excited, the discharge state (i. e., glow or no glow) in the second cell will be the same as previously in the first cell. A pair of electrodes 18 and 19 are inserted at one end of channel 8, and a controlled voltage source (not shown) is connected thereto for entering an information bit (glow or no-glow) into a cell in the start of the channel. R.-F. voltages applied to the external electrodes 11 and ground electrode 16 in proper voltage, frequency and phasing, as more fully set out in my copending applications, will cause the bits of information fed into one end of the channel by electrodes 18 and 19 to shift along the channel and, in this connection, it will be understood that the unit is not only capable of storing a whole pattern of glows and no glows, but is capable of shifting this pattern as a whole along the channel while retaining the identity of the pattern. Readout electrodes 21 and 22 are provided at the opposite end of the channel for receiving the information hits as they arrive at the end of the channel. Electrodes 118 and 19 and 21 and 22 may be conveniently mounted in the body of the ceramic material making up the internal member 7, and leads 26, 27, 28 and 29 may be brought out from these electrodes through a base or end portion 31 of the glass envelope. Another lead 32 connected to the ground electrode 16 may be brought out in similar fashion.

I claim:

l. A glow discharge device comprising, a sealed envelope, an ionizable gas therein, a member of dielectric material mounted in said envelope and formed to define a gaseous discharge channel, and a plurality of electrodes arrayed along said channel to control glow discharge therein.

2. A glow discharge device for a serial shifting register comprising, a sealed envelope, an ionizable gas therein,

a member formed of dielectric material and having a groove in one side thereof and mounted in said envelope with said side in juxtaposition to the internal wall of said envelope so as to define a gaseous discharge channel along said groove, and a plurality of electrodes arrayed along said channel to provide a plurality of discrete glow discharge stations in said channel.

3. A glow discharge device comprising, a sealed envelope, an ionizable gas therein, a member formed of dielectric material and having a groove in one side thereof and mounted in said envelope so as to define a gaseous discharge channel along said groove, said groove coursing said side in a manner augmenting the length of said groove, and a plurality of electrodes arrayed along said channel to provide a plurality of discrete glow discharge stations in said channel.

4. A glow discharge device comprising, a sealed envelope, an ionizable gas therein, a member formed of dielectric material and having a groove in one side thereof and mounted in said envelope so as to define a gaseous discharge channel along said groove, said groove coursing said side in a plurality of substantially parallel runs to augment the length of said channel, and a plurality of elongated electrodes mounted in spaced substantially parallel relation and with their lengths substantially perpendicular to said runs so as to provide a plurality of discrete glow discharge stations in said channel.

5. A glow discharge device for a serial shifting register comprising, a sealed envelope, an ionizable gas therein, a member formed of dielectric material and mounted in said envelope with its periphery conforming in shape to and being mounted in close proximity to the internal wall of said envelope, said member being formed with a groove in periphery and formed to course said periphery in a manner to augment the length of said groove. The opposed groove defining Walls of said member and said internal wall of said envelope cooperating to define an elongated gaseous discharge channel, and a plurality of electrodes arrayed along said channel to provide a plurality of discrete glow discharge stations in said channel.

6. A glow discharge device for a serial shifting register comprising, a sealed cylindrical envelope, an ionizable gas therein, a cylindrical member formed of dielectric material and mounted with its periphery in close proximity to the internal Wall of said envelope, said member being formed with a spiral groove in its periphery defining a gaseous discharge channel along said groove, and a plurality of electrodes arrayed along said channel to provide a plurality of discrete glow discharge stations in said channel.

7. A glow discharge device for a serial shifting register comprising, a sealed cylindrical envelope, an ionizable gas therein, a cylindrical member formed of dielectric: material and mounted with its periphery in close proximity to the internal wall of said envelope, said member being formed with a spiral groove in its periphery defining a gaseous discharge channel along said groove, and a plurality of elongated electrodes mounted in circumferentially spaced longitudinally extending relation traversing said channel at spaced points to provide a plurality of discrete glow discharge stations in said channel.

8. A glow discharge device for a serial shifting register comprising, a sealed cylindrical envelope, an ionizable gas therein, a cylindrical member formed of dielectric material and mounted with its periphery in close proximity to the internal Wall of said envelope, said member being formed with a spiral groove in its periphery de fining a gaseous discharge channel along said groove, and a plurality of elongated electrodes mounted in circumferentially spaced axially extending relation on the outside of said envelope with the lengths of said elee trodes traversing said spiral groove at spaced points so as to provide a plurality of discrete glow discharge stations in said channel.

9. A glow discharge device for a serial shifting register comprising, a sealed envelope, an ionizable gas therein, a tubular member formed of dielectric material and mounted with its external periphery in close proximity to the internal wall of said envelope, said member being formed with a groove in its external periphery defining a gaseous discharge channel along said groove, a plurality of electrodes arrayed along said channel, and a common electrode mounted at the internal periphery of said member and cooperative with said plurality of electrodes to provide a plurality of discrete glow discharge stations in said channel.

10. A glow discharge device for a serial shifting register comprising, a sealed cylindrical envelope, an ionizable gas therein, a tubular cylindrical member formed of dielectric material and mounted in said envelope with its external periphery in close proximity to the internal wall of said envelope, said member being formed with a spiral groove in its external periphery defining a gaseous discharge channel along said groove, a plurality of elongated electrodes mounted in circumferentially spaced axially extending relation on the outside of said envelope with the lengths of said electrodes traversing: said spiral groove at spaced points, and a common electrode mounted at the internal periphery of said member and cooperative with said elongated electrodes to provide a plurality of discrete glow discharge stations in said channel.

No references cited.

Non-Patent Citations
Reference
1 *None
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3899712 *May 1, 1974Aug 12, 1975Gen ElectricTapered helical compact fluorescent lamp
US3903447 *Mar 5, 1973Sep 2, 1975Westinghouse Electric CorpSingle-ended electric discharge lamp having tubular envelope with partition means that provides a helical arc path
US4286190 *Sep 26, 1979Aug 25, 1981Westinghouse Electric Corp.Compact fluorescent lamp having a partitioned envelope
US6686681 *Feb 19, 2000Feb 3, 2004Patent-Treuhand-Gesellschaft Fuer Elektrische Gluelampen MbhDischarge lamp with base
Classifications
U.S. Classification313/589, 313/607, 315/84.61
International ClassificationH01J17/48, H01J65/04
Cooperative ClassificationH01J2893/007, H01J65/046, H01J17/48
European ClassificationH01J17/48, H01J65/04A2