# The Photoelectric Effect

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• Created by: zac
• Created on: 14-05-13 12:36

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Photoelectric effect
When light of a minimum threshold frequency () is shone on a metal surface, photoelectrons are
emitted. The number of electrons emitted depends on the intensity of the light (), and the kinetic
energy of the electrons depends on the frequency of the light ().
If light behaves as a particle (Photon), then one photon () will instantaneously () release one
electron (), if its energy is above the work function () of the metal. The energy of the photon can
be calculated using E=hf (). The kinetic energy of the electron will be the photon energy ­ the work
function ().
If light is a wave, then the energy will be continuously supplied (), so over enough time the
electrons would gain enough energy to be released (), which doesn't happen, so light must be
behaving as a particle.