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I am confused about the action of a spark gap. I realize the gap is breached when the voltage reaches a critical point. But what happens to the remainder of the voltage? enter image description here In the attached circuit the power supply has 2000VAC 10mA 30KHz. The breakdown voltage on the neons is 90V. The capacitor is 874nF and L1 is 40microH.

Without the neons the full 2,000V (rectified DC) would appear accross C and L1 (L1 before C). With the neons would that be reduced to 90V? Would the neons fire at the same time? Will L1 resonate with C? It's a bit different to a tesla coil in that a tesla coil has just one spark gap between L1 and C and C is pumped up to the breakdown voltage of the spark gap. I don't think that would happen in this case as the neons would break down at the same time.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The neon lamps won't break down at the same time. 90V is the nominal break down. Any individual lamp will break down a little above or below that voltage. \$\endgroup\$ – JRE Oct 12 '17 at 10:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Only a limited current can flow through the lamps. You can view them as a switch with a series resistor. When they are switched on, they allow current to flow. The voltage across the load then depends on the resistance (in this, resistance and impedance) of the load, and whatever effective resistance the neon lamp has. \$\endgroup\$ – JRE Oct 12 '17 at 10:28

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