Conventional electrostatic and magnetic lenses were used to focus electron beams in the range of energies 30–70 v, produced by a specially designed experimental tube. The electron distribution in the focused beam was resolved by a series of concentric end collectors and a convention introduced to assess effective beam widths.
With near‐symmetrical lenses of the electrostatic type and for energies above 30 v, the beam, if inside the aberration limits of the lens, appears to be acted on as a whole by the field and a definite focus is obtained; for 30‐v beams, on the other hand, there is no unique focus since maximum and minimum values of effective beam width were recorded as the focus voltage was varied. Such a periodic variation might arise from the existence of standing wave patterns in the space charge in front of the cathode.
A characteristic feature of the focusing which is most marked in the magnetic case is the disappearance on focus of the Gaussian core of the incident beam distribution. With magnetic lenses having apertures in the ratio 2∕1, it was remarkable to find that the smaller aperture lens was the most efficient in bringing beams to a focus. In general, the power of magnetic lenses had to be greatly increased (in the measurements, by a factor of 30) over any expected thin lens performance to achieve a focus. Space charge forces, nonhomocentricity, and potential depression are held to be responsible for the abnormal conditions of focus.