You searched for: “avalanche
The general term for extremely rapid slides and falls of snow, ice, rocks, and trees.
This entry is located in the following unit: Geography Terms + (page 2)
Word Entries at Word Info containing the term: “avalanche
avalanche ionization, Townsend avalanche, Townsend ionization
A process occurring among gaseous ions in an ionization chamber radiation detector.

Given an adequate mean free path, a primary ion caused by the incident radiation can be accelerated by the applied voltage to the point where its collisions produce several other ions, where each secondary ion does the same thing, and so on, causing an "avalanche".

The multiplication of ions can be in the millions or more.

This entry is located in the following unit: ion, ion- + (page 1)
electron avalanche, avalanche effect, cascade, cumulative ionization
1. A chain reaction that starts when one free electron collides with one or more orbiting electrons and frees them.

The free electrons then free others in the same manner, etc.

2. The cumulative process in which an electron (or other charged particle) accelerated by a strong electric field collides with and ionizes gas molecules, thereby releasing new electrons which in turn have more collisions, so that the discharge is self-maintained.
This entry is located in the following unit: electro-, electr-, electri- (page 47)