Higher Physics - Unit 3 - Photoelectric Effect and Photons

I created my own revision notes for all units of the Higher Physics course.

These are revision notes for part of the 3rd unit (Radiation and Matter), section 3 (Optoelectronics and Semi-conductors). I've uploaded all the subsections of this section in different files as they are otherwise too large.

Photoelectric Effect and Photons covers:
• Meaning of the photoelectric effect
• Experiment to show the photoelectric effect
• Conditions for photoelectric effect to work
• What the work function is
• Further information on the work function
• Light is a photon
• What a photon is
• Properties of a photon
• Photon equations

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  • Created by: Visser
  • Created on: 08-05-10 16:29

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Page 1

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When certain metals are exposed to the correct frequency of electromagnetic radiation, electrons are ejected from the
surface. The interaction between light and electrons is called the photoelectric effect.

Evacuated tube ­ so the photoelectrons don't collide with air atoms
Quartz window ­ glass absorbs UV radiation

Page 2

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is dependent on the particular metal surface

, an increase in intensity of the incident radiation produces an increase in photoelectric emission ­ the
photoelectric current produced is directly proportional to the intensity of the radiation at the surface


The work function is the minimum energy required to…

Page 3

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Max kinetic energy = energy of photon ­ work function:

If N photons per second are incident per unit area on a surface, the intensity at the surface is:


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