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space charge

noun, Electricity
1.
a distribution of an excess of electrons or ions over a three-dimensional region, in contrast to the distribution of an electric charge over the surface of a conductor.
Origin
1910-1915
1910-15
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Encyclopedia Article for space-charge

space charge

electrical charge distributed through a three-dimensional region. In an electron tube, for example, a negative charge results because electrons that are emitted from the cathode do not travel instantaneously to the plate (anode) but require a finite time for the trip. These electrons form a cloud around the cathode, the cloud being continually depleted by electrons going to the plate and replenished by electrons emitted from the cathode. It is this cloud of electrons that produces the negative space charge.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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