When this is the case the amplitude of the potential difference of the surfaces of the tubular condenser becomes a maximum, and this is indicated by connecting a vacuum tube filled with neon to the surfaces of the condenser.
We might define temperature in the case of a flame or vacuum tube by the temperature which a small totally reflecting body would tend to take up if placed at the spot, but this definition would fail in the case of a spark discharge.
Adopting the definition we should have no difficulty in proving that in a vacuum tube gases may be luminous at very low temperatures, but we are doubtful whether such a conclusion is very helpful towards the elucidation of our problem.
This is most likely to occur in a discharge through a vacuum tube and it is just there that the greatest variety of spectra is observed.
In the case of hydrogen rendered luminous in a vacuum tube we may put approximately u equal to 2000 metres per second, if the translatory motion of the luminous molecules is about the same as that at the ordinary temperature.