The Luminous Properties of Electrically Conducting Helium Gas (Classic Reprint)
In filling standard tubes with helium the greatest difficulty is in freeing the electrodes from hydrogen. This is best accomplished by steady pumping while a heavy current is passing through the tube. After but a few minutes pumping nearly all of the im purities except hydrogen will disappear, indicating, perhaps, that the interior walls are clear of gas. After about fifteen minutes fur ther pumping the hydrogen pressure drops abruptly. This, I take it, is when the disk portions of the electrodes are depleted of included hydrogen. To completely clear the stems of the electrodes requires further pumping and current for perhaps an hour. N 0 air or helium should be admitted during this process, as it makes the complete elimination of the hydrogen much more tedious and difficult.
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