The observed behavior in which light falling on certain metals can eject electrons from the surface.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

28
votes
6answers
4k views

Can the photoelectric effect be explained without photons?

Lamb 1969 states, A misconception which most physicists acquire in their formative years is that the photoelectric effect requires the quantization of the electromagnetic field for its ...
9
votes
1answer
252 views

How is the Photoelectric Effect affected by Blue-Shifting

I was thinking about the Photoelectric Effect and Blue-Shifting when I came up with a thought experiment that I couldn't think of an answer for. The thought experiment is as follows: A metal plate is ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Does Tesla's photoelectric “solar cell” really work?

Tesla patented a device for gathering energy from light, using the photoelectric effect. (US 685,957 - Apparatus for the Utilization of Radiant Energy): Basically just a sheet of "highly polished ...
7
votes
6answers
9k views

Compton scattering vs. photoelectric effect

Say a photon hits some atom. What determines whether there will be a photoelectric effect (photon is absorbed, electron is released) or whether there will be a Compton scattering (the photon is ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Does the photoelectric effect obey Ohm's law?

So, I've been reading about the photoelectric effect for my modern physics class, and I was confused about how Ohm's law works in relation to it. Say we have a photoelectric apparatus that simply ...
6
votes
2answers
11k views

How would I calculate the work function of a metal?

In the photoelectric effect, the work function is the minimum amount of energy (per photon) needed to eject an electron from the surface of a metal. Is it possible to calculate this energy from the ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Why do electrons in an atom 'fall' back to the ground state?

Why, after absorbing a photon does an atom's electron 'fall' back to its ground state (what causes it to immediately lose its absorbed energy)?
5
votes
3answers
224 views

What if all the electrons leave a metal?

I was studying photoelectric effect. Then I thought that what will happen if all the electrons from a metal piece come out as photoelectrons by using a light source of particular frequency? Will the ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Is plant photosynthesis more efficient than solar panels?

Is photosynthesis more efficient than solar panels? If so, by how much?
4
votes
1answer
348 views

Classical (or semi-classical) interpretation of photoelectric effect?

This site says that "it has recently been proven that the photoelectric effect can be interpreted classically (or at least semi-classically) in non-particle, wavelike terms". Is anyone familiar with ...
4
votes
1answer
355 views

Photoelectric effect: Experimental Physics

Suppose you are doing an experiment to determine the work function of a metal.  You get $KE_1$, $\nu_1$ and $KE_2$, $\nu_2$.   We know that $KE = h\nu - W$ but when you solve the simultaneous ...
4
votes
1answer
101 views

Why are there multiple L-edges in X-ray photoionization?

In heavier elements, why are there multiple L-edges in photoionization? In the image below, what do $\rm{L_{I}}$, $\rm{L_{II}}$ and $\rm{L_{III}}$ stand for? In this handout, (page 141 Figure 7.13), ...
4
votes
1answer
120 views

Photomagnetic effect

I just saw an article on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photomagnetic_effect "This article appears to contain unverifiable speculation and unjustified claims. Information must be verifiable ...
3
votes
3answers
276 views

Is Photoelectric Effect continuous or discrete?

I don't understand how electrons and photon interact with each other when a metal surface is illuminated with light. I've read that below a certain threshold frequency or wavelength of light, no ...
3
votes
1answer
156 views

In photo-electric experiment, if the light is exposed to a metal plate for a long enough interval, does the plate become lighter?

I know from the book that electrons will be kicked out from the metal plate if the light of appropriate wavelength is exposed to the metal plate. My mental model says if we let the light expose the ...
3
votes
3answers
521 views

How bright can we make a sun jar?

A sun jar is an object that stores solar energy in a battery and then releases it during dark hours through a led. Assume: a $65cm^2$ solar panel a 12h/12h light/dark cycle insolation of ...
3
votes
1answer
40 views

what is the velocity distribution of photoelectrons in photoelectric effect?

I know that when light is incident on certain metallic surfaces, electrons are emitted from the surface. And I know that the maximum velocity can be calculated. But why does the textbooks use 'maximum ...
3
votes
2answers
345 views

Is there a way to calculate the photoelectric effect in QED via a Feynman diagram?

The photoelectric effect is the historic origin of the quantum particle description of light. From it we learn that when light is shone onto a metal single photons interact with single electrons in ...
2
votes
4answers
13k views

In famous Einsteins Photoelectric effect, Why does intensity of light doesn't raise the kinetic energy of the emitting electrons?

The work function of any metal is no doubt constant for it is related to electromagnetic attraction between electrons and protons. However on increasing the intensity of any light source the kinetic ...
2
votes
3answers
625 views

What are thermal energy distributions?

I am trying to understand the photoelectric-effect deeply. My teacher used the Planck's law and integrated it to deduce the Stefan-Boltzmann law. He somehow showed some quantum-physical ...
2
votes
3answers
4k views

photoelectric effect

A 1.0 mW laser ($\lambda$ = 590 nm) shines on a cesium photocathode (ϕ = 1.95 eV). Assume an efficiency of $10^{-5}$ for producing photoelectrons (that is, 1 photoelectron is produced for every 10^5 ...
2
votes
1answer
107 views

Photoelectric effect – Why does one electron absorb one photon?

When I read about the photoelectric effect, I came across this: "The electrons could not absorb more than one photon to escape from the surface, they could not therefore absorb one quanta and then ...
2
votes
2answers
371 views

What happens to a metal plate in the photoelectric effect?

In the photoelectric effect the electrons are supposed to be removed from the plate if light of appropriate wavelength hits the plate. If electrons are removed, the plate should get ionized ...
2
votes
2answers
150 views

Show that a photon cannot transmit its total energy to a free electron. Contradiction with Photoelectric effect?

This is a problem in my textbook and I've shown it this way: $E_{initial}=\frac{hc}{\lambda} + mc^2$ $p_{initial}=h/\lambda$ After collision with photon having zero energy we get ...
2
votes
1answer
268 views

What happens when work function = hf

What happens when the photon which hits a metal surface has energy equal to the work function of that surface? $$\phi = hf$$ I realise the emitted electron will have no kinetic energy after escape, ...
2
votes
1answer
133 views

Ejected Electrons with 0 KE?

So I was taught that: Kinetic Energy (of electron) = Energy (of photon) - Ionization Energy If E(photon) = IE, then KE=0 of the electron. What does this physically/theoretically mean? My current ...
2
votes
2answers
10k views

Stopping potential in the photoelectric effect, collector work function

In this question I am talking about the following situation: Now, I know that the max kinetic energy of the electrons emitted is $KE_{max} = h\nu - e\phi_{em}$ where $\phi_{em}$ is the work ...
2
votes
1answer
63 views

Color of an incident photon?

If the incident light at 360nm causes photoemission of electrons, wouldn't the color be ultraviolet? I know that it isn't a visible color, but that's what my chart of the light spectrum says. Unless ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Meaning of the first and second laws of the photoelectric effect

I was reading the introduction to quantum mechanics in my physics book and it begins with a discussion of the photoelectric effect and energy quantas. The first law, the one that says that the ...
2
votes
5answers
209 views

Photoelectric effect without light rays

For electromagnetic waves we have the photon association, one imagines light as particles "flying around". What is the analogy for a constant electrical field, one which doesn't change in time ...
2
votes
1answer
243 views

Why don't metals disintergrate in light?

I've been learning about photoelectricity. An electron can gain the energy from a single photon, and if that energy is greater than the work function of the metal the electron can leave the metal. ...
2
votes
3answers
91 views

Kinetic energy and Potential of a photon

How does the potential and kinetic energy of a photon relate? Do they mean the same thing? Also how does De broglie wavelength and Potential relate?
2
votes
1answer
165 views

Direction of Photo Electron Emission

I was looking for information on how the photo electrons are emitted when under X-ray radiation. In this ancient review paper here http://authors.library.caltech.edu/1551/1/WATpr28.pdf they state that ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Relationship between stopping potential and work function

Suppose I have a cathode with a work function of 3eV and an anode at a potential of 2V above the cathode. If a photon having 2eV of energy hits the cathode, what happens? A. An electron is emitted ...
2
votes
1answer
248 views

Color of a Metal's Threshold Wavelength?

How do I find the color of the threshold wavelength if the metal has a threshold wavelength of $\mathrm{6.5\times 10^{-7}m}$? I know that converts down to $\mathrm{650\ nm}$, but can I still use the ...
2
votes
0answers
39 views

How to distinguish Shake-Up Satellites from Plasmons?

I am studying XPS spectra (X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy) at the moment. In XPS, different processes can influence the final state energy of detected electrons. One of these processes is the ...
2
votes
2answers
165 views

Photoelectric effect stopping potential

$q_eV_s = hf - \phi$ My question is... suppose we are testing the photoelectric effect. One plate is illuminated. We have applied the stopping potential. Suppose an electron leaves one plate with $KE ...
2
votes
1answer
74 views

Energy loss in the photoelectric effect

If a photon hits an electron with an energy that is less than the energy required to change the energy level of an electron, what happens to the energy of the photon (is it not absorbed and just pass ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the relation between photoelectric current and frequency of incident light?

I googled it a bit and found that photoelectric current is independent of frequency(of incident light). Some further look revealed that actually "saturation current" is independent of frequency.I ...
1
vote
2answers
57 views

How long does it take for an excited electron to return to ground state?

During a mock Cambridge interview, one of the questions was about how small a computer could theoretically be.The way I approached it was in terms of what something must be to be considered a ...
1
vote
2answers
11k views

What happens to the absorbed light energy?

When light comes across with a solid material, some of it is reflected, some of it passes through and some of it is absorbed. I understand the reflection and passing through, but I don't understand ...
1
vote
2answers
455 views

Is energy exchange quantized?

In the photoelectric effect there is a threshold frequency that must be exceeded, to observe any electron emission, I have two questions about this. I) Lower than threshold: What happen with lesser ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

Photoelectric Effect - Dependence of current on frequency

We all know that the amount of current flowing b/w the plates is independent of the frequency. If I were to ask why doesn't it depend then you'd probably say that it depends on the number of electrons ...
1
vote
1answer
67 views

Photoelectric effect: Why does monochromatic radiation produces photoelectron with a spread of velocities?

Recall that in photoelectric effect, $V = \frac{hf}{e} - \frac{Wo}{e}$. The incident photon with frequency f produces an electron with energy eV. This should result in a single velocity, why is there ...
1
vote
2answers
112 views

photo electric effect question

When EM radiation with fixed intensity and frequency strikes the metal plate, are the outgoing electrons at higher energy if the plate were charged to some potential than if the plate were simply ...
1
vote
1answer
29 views

Quantum efficiency of Photoelectric effect

What is the typically measured quantum efficiency of photoelectric effect experiments involving ultra violet photons incident upon common metals like copper or aluminum. In case I'm not being clear, ...
1
vote
1answer
121 views

What is retardation effect?

I have in my book a passage which states: "We also remark that the dipole approximation (obtained by setting $\exp(i \textbf{k} \cdot \textbf{r}) = 1$ in the matrix element Eq. #) yields the leading ...
1
vote
2answers
83 views

Photoelectric effect intensity

I understand the PE effect quite well but I'm failing to understand one thing. Intensity is the amount of energy per second incident to a given area. So can you can increase the intensity by either ...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

Is photoelectric emission same as ionization or are they different?

According to my book the mechanism of ionization is: "If an atom absorbs enough energy so that an electron is raised to the highest energy level the electron becomes free of the atom i.e. ionization ...
1
vote
1answer
179 views

Is a vacuum needed in photoelectric effect?

This question was asked to me. My first thought was that electrons may ionise the air and potential difference that was applied may increase or decrease the current which should have been observed. ...