Air quenched spark gap

A type of spark gap which quenches the arc through a “draught” of warm air which removes hot ions from between the electrodes and physically disrupts the arc, allowing the capacitors to recharge for the next pulse.

Air quenched spark gap
Figure 1. Air quenched spark gap

To read more about this and other types of spark gaps, click here.


A condenser is an old word for capacitor, which is a device that stores electric charge by separating two or more conductive surfaces by a layer of dielectic material.

Continuous wave

A continuous wave, also called an undamped wave, is an electromagnetic wave of constant amplitude and frequency.


An electrical insulator, like air, glass, or other non-conducting mediums and materials.

Disruptive discharge

A disruptive discharge is what Nikola Tesla called the event of a capacitor, charged to its maximum capacity, discharging all of its stored energy with extreme suddenness through a spark gap, creating oscillating currents in the circuit. This idea was initially developed by the likes of Joseph Henry and Lord Kelvin and was later put to great practical use by Tesla in his high voltage, high frequency devices.

Hertzian waves

An old name for transverse electromagnetic waves, or radio waves.


A dielectric material which Nikola Tesla often used as an insulator in his experiments. Today mica is used as, amongst other things, a dielectric in high frequency capacitors.