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Topic 13. Quantum and nuclear physics. The Quantum nature of radiation. For years it was accepted that light travels as particles (though with little direct evidence). Largely based on my corpuscular theory of light. Isaac Newton 1642-1727. The Wave theory of radiation.

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Topic 13

Topic 13

Quantum and nuclear physics


The quantum nature of radiation

The Quantum nature of radiation

For years it was accepted that light travels as particles (though with little direct evidence).

Largely based on my corpuscular theory of light

Isaac Newton 1642-1727


The wave theory of radiation

The Wave theory of radiation

However, this idea was overthrown after Young demonstrated beyond doubt the wave nature of light in his double slit experiment (1801).


The photoelectric effect

The photoelectric effect

However, around the turn of the 20th century, an effect that became known as the photoelectric effect defied explanation using the wave model.

Oh no!


The photo electric effect

The photo-electric effect.

It was found that the leaf on a negatively charged gold-leaf electroscope slowly falls if a zinc plate resting on the top of the electroscope is irradiated with ultraviolet light.

Ultraviolet light

Zinc plate

Gold-leaf electroscope (negatively charged)


The photo electric effect1

e-

Ultraviolet light

Zinc plate

Gold-leaf electroscope

The photo-electric effect.

This can be explained by the zinc emitting electrons when the light shines on it. These emitted electrons are called photoelectrons.

e-


The photo electric effect2

The photo-electric effect

Further investigation with slightly more sophisticated apparatus demonstrated a number of interesting features:

Light source

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photocurrent

A

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The photo electric effect3

The photo-electric effect

The potential can be reversed until the flow of electrons is stopped. This is called the stopping potential.

Light source

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A

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Vs

Stopping potential


Interesting features

Interesting features

1. For every metal, there is a certain frequency of light (the threshold frequency), below which no electrons are emitted, no matter how intense the light.

K.E. of emitted electrons

Frequency

Threshold frequency (fo)


Interesting features1

Interesting features

2. The number of photoelectrons emitted (above the threshold frequency) only depends on the intensity of light.


A few problems

It looks like my theory’s buggered!

A few problems

Using classical physics it could not be explained why there is a threshold frequency below which no electrons are emitted. Surely if the light was intense enough, the electrons would gain enough energy to escape at any frequency?


A few problems1

A few problems

Classical physics could also not explain why the number of electrons emitted depended only on the intensity and not the frequency.

I know someone who may be able to help.

Max Planck 1858 - 1947


Einstein to the rescue again

Einstein to the rescue (again!)

Einstein suggested that the light is quantised (i.e. light comes in little packets of energy called quanta or photons). This was based on the work of Max Planck who first used this idea (although Planck didn’t realise the implication of his mathematical “trick” at the time) to explain blackbody radiation.


Photon energy

Photon energy

The photon energy is given by the following formula (which was used by Planck):

E = hf

where E is the energy contained in the photon (in Joules), h is Planck’s constant (6.63 x 10-34 Js) and f is the frequency in hertz.


How does this help to explain the observations of the photoelectric effect

How does this help to explain the observations of the photoelectric effect?

Threshold frequency

An electron at the surface of the metal can absorb the energy from an incident photon of light. If the frequency is high enough, the electron can gain enough energy to escape the metal. Even if only one photon (very low intensity!) is incident, an electron can escape. Thus the ability for the effect to occur only depends on the frequency of the light. Even if millions of photons of lower energy light is incident on the metal, an electron can never get enough energy from a photon to escape.


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Photons

Free electrons

Metal

Here, the photon energy is less than the minimum required for the electrons to escape – no electrons are produced


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photoelectron

Photons

Free electrons

Metal

The photon energy is greater than the minimum required for the electrons to escape – photoelectrons are produced at a range of kinetic energies up to a maximum value.


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Photons

Free electrons

photoelectron

Metal

The photon energy is just large enough to cause emission. Photoelectrons with zero kinetic energy are produced (!).


Work function w o

Work function (Wo)

So, some of the photons energy is needed to remove the electron (Wo), and any surplus becomes kinetic energy.

Energy of photon

energy required to remove electron + KEmax of ejected electron

E = hf = Wo + ½m(vmax)2


Work function w o1

Work function (Wo)


Work function w o2

Work function (Wo)

E = hf = Wo + ½m(vmax)2

KEmax

gradient = h

f

fo(threshold frequency)

An important graph to remember

-Wo


Work function w o and threshold frequency f o

Work function (Wo) and threshold frequency (fo)

E = hf = Wo + ½m(vmax)2

At the threshold frequency, the KE of the ejected electrons is zero, so

Wo = hfo


Stopping potential v s

Stopping potential (Vs)

Remember that the ejected electrons can be stopped by applying a potential difference to oppose their motion (the stopping potential). So

KEmax = eVs

where Vs is the stopping potential and e is the charge on an electron.


Topic 13

E = hf = Wo + ½m(vmax)2

and

KEmax = eVs

so

hf = hfo + eVs


Nobel prize

Nobel Prize

Einstein’s explanation meshed beautifully with experimental observations, and was ultimately verified by Robert Millikan (who first performed the experiment using the stopping potential with sufficient accuracy to verify Einstein’s formulae) in 1916. In 1921, Einstein received the Nobel prize in physics for the photoelectric effect.


An example

An example

Light of wavelength 300 nm is incident on a sodium surface (work function 3.0 x 10-19 J). Calculate the maximum kinetic energy of the electrons emitted from the surface. (c = 3.0 x 108 m.s-1 and h = 6.63 x10-34 Js)


An example1

An example

Light of wavelength 300 nm is incident on a sodium surface (work function 3.0 x 10-19 J). Calculate the maximum kinetic energy of the electrons emitted from the surface. (c = 3.0 x 108 m.s-1 and h = 6.63 x10-34 Js)

hf = W0 + KEmax

f = c/λ so

hc/λ = W0 + KEmax

Rearranging and substituting;

KEmax = 6.63 x 10-34 x 3.0 x 108 – 3.0 x 10-19 = 3.7 x 10-19 J

3.0 x 10-7


An example2

An example

So the maximum kinetic energy of an electron emitted by the sodium is 3.7 x 10-19 J.

Don’t forget that often in atomic physics energy is given in electronvolts. An electron volt is the energy given to an electron when it passes through a p.d. of 1 volt (= eV = 1.6 x 10-19 J). So the answer could be expressed as 2.3 eV)


Time for some dead dog action

Time for some dead dog action?


Don t try this at home

Don’t try this at home.

DANGER

ACID


Ooooooops

Ooooooops!

DANGER

ACID


Oh dear

Oh dear!

DANGER

ACID


Topic 13

Cool!

DANGER

ACID


Topic 13

Page 396 Questions3, 6 & 7.

DANGER

ACID


Topic 13

3

a) An electron in the metal surface absorbs energy from a photon of light. If there is enough energy in the photon the electron can escape.


Topic 13

3

b) I = Q/t = 1015 x 1.6 x 10-19 = 0.00016 A


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3

c) hf = Wo + KE = Wo + 2.1x1.6x10-19

f = c/λ

hc/λ = Wo + 2.1x1.6x10-19

Wo = hc/λ - 2.1x1.6x10-19 = 3.23 x 10-20 J (0.2 eV)


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3

d) 2.1 eV (the same! The KE of the electrons ONLY depends on the frequency of the light)


Topic 13

3

e) Twice the intensity so twice the current

2 x 0.00016 = 0.00032 A


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6

  • hfo = 3.0 eV

    5 x 10-4 W per m2,

    so the energy incident on 1.0 x 10-18 m2

    = 5x10-4 x 1.0 x 10-18 = 5 x 10-22 W

    Energy required to liberate 1 electron = 3.0 eV

    = 4.8 x 10-19 J

    Time required = Energy/power = 4.8x10-19/5x10-22 = 960 s


Topic 13

6

b) Electrons should only appear after 960 seconds!


Topic 13

6

c) Individual photons of light carry enough energy for an electron to escape.


Topic 13

7

a) f0 = 5 x 1014 Hz (intercept on the x axis)


Topic 13

7

b) Wo = hf0 = 6.63x10-34 x 5x1014

= 3.315x10-19 J (2.07 eV)


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7

c) hf = Wo + KE

KE = hf – Wo

= 6.63x10-34x8x1014 – 3.315x10-19

= 1.989x10-19 J (1.24 eV)

8 x1014


Topic 13

7

d)

6.0 x 1014 Hz


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