electric arc

noun
arc ( def 2 ).

Origin:
1880–85

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
electric arc  
An electric current, often strong, brief, and luminous, in which electrons jump across a gap. Electric arcs across specially designed electrodes can produce very high heats and bright light, and are used for such purposes as welding and illumination in spotlights. Unwanted arcs in electrical circuits can cause fires. Lightning is a case of an electric arc between one cloud and the earth or another cloud, as are sparks caused by discharges of static electricity.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

electric arc

continuous, high-density electric current between two separated conductors in a gas or vapour with a relatively low potential difference, or voltage, across the conductors. The high-intensity light and heat of arcs are utilized in welding, in carbon-arc lamps and arc furnaces that operate at ordinary air pressure, and in low-pressure sodium-arc and mercury-arc lamps.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Steel plants and foundries using existing electric arc furnaces.
Two common forms of steel production are the basic oxygen and electric arc processes.
Coke, a derivative of coal, is used for electrodes required for heat production in electric arc furnaces.
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