Marx generator

A Marx Generator is a way of charging a number of capacitors in parallel, then discharging them in series. Originally described by E. Marx in 1924, Marx generators are probably the most common way of generating high voltage impulses for testing when the voltage level required is higher than available charging supply voltages.

The charging voltage is applied to the system. The stage capacitors charge through the charging resistors. When fully charged, either the lowest gap is allowed to breakdown from overvoltage or it is triggered by an external source. This effectively puts the bottom two capacitors in series, overvoltaging the next gap up, which then puts the bottom three capacitors in series, which overvoltages the next gap, and so forth. This process is referred to as "erecting".