I was reading about the photoelectric effect and a few questions come to my mind.
For the context, I read that if you shine some light (of high energy) on a metal, this latter will emit electrons.
So I was wondering:
- how can a metal lose an electron? Would electrons 'fly' in the air? Or are we just talking about the metal having more "free" electrons?
- if electrons are freed 'in the air', would that mean the metal would become electropositive? I recall in my chemistry classes at high-school when making batteries, we needed a salt bridge between the oxydation and reduction half cells to maintain their electrical neutrality. Do metals need electrical neutrality?
- again if the metal "loses" electrons in the air: if we radiate enough light would the metal end up being short of electrons? as in, would the photo electric effect stop working on a given piece of metal after e.g an hour?
(note: I have read many questions on this website, including Photoelectric effect vs. electronegativity? and the wikipedia pages)