1
$\begingroup$

I have read this question:

Electrical neutrality in photoelectric effect

Now the answer by HiddenBabel says:

Metals are conductors. As electrons escape, new electrons easily flow from ground into the metal to maintain neutrality.

Now if I have a metal floating in space, and light shines on it, creating the photoelectric effect, electrons start to get knocked off the metal.

In this case, there is no connection to the ground, there is nowhere to get new electrons from. Will the metal's lattice structure's atoms become more neutral (meaning they will have fewer electrons)?

Would this not restructure the metal lattice?

Question:

  1. Can we have photoelectric effect on a metal floating in space if we shine light on it? Obviously it cannot get any new electrons (instead of the ones get knocked off) from anywhere.

  2. What will happen to the lattice structure of the metal? It will obviously lose electrons and cannot replace them.


$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ FWIW, the usual frequencies used in the photoelectric effect (visible & UV) cause conduction electrons to be emitted. It takes much higher energy (i.e., higher frequency) photons to affect lattice electrons. $\endgroup$ – PM 2Ring May 26 at 13:32
0
$\begingroup$

Obviously it cannot get any new electrons (instead of the ones get knocked off) from anywhere.

The ones knockedoff? The will feel the increasing attraction of the metal turned positive? ( I ignore gravitation since it is so tiny) My gues: There will be a continuous cloud of ejected electrons which will continuously be attracted and absorbed.

What will happen to the lattice structure of the metal

The effects are only surface effects, as the photons do not penetrate and after the first layers there should be no difference in the lattice.

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.