Photoelectric Effect

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danae_blodgett_1H
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2016 3:00 am

Photoelectric Effect

Postby danae_blodgett_1H » Sun Oct 02, 2016 9:40 am

I am confused about the relationship between light, wave and frequency in this experiment. I understand there is a direct correlation between frequency and wavelength. I also understand that increasing the energy means more intensity. But I think I get confused about the part how light acts as a wave and a particle. Can someone clarify this experiment for me?

Hirmand_Sarafian_2N
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2016 2:56 pm

Re: Photoelectric Effect

Postby Hirmand_Sarafian_2N » Sun Oct 02, 2016 3:18 pm

Initially, light was only thought of as a wave, so in this experiment, scientists attempted to use high wavelength, low frequency light to remove the electrons off the metal surface. When electrons were not first removed, they believed that simply raising the intensity of the light, its amplitude, would remove the electrons; however, they found that simply raising the intensity would still not remove the electrons. Therefore, the scientists used a higher frequency, lower wavelength light to remove the electrons; this higher frequency produced more energy by E=h x frequency, and electrons were finally removed. Later they increased the intensity of the light and noticed that more electrons were being removed. The scientists began to realize that light had particle-like characteristics and is made of photons. The photons removed the electrons in a one-to-one ratio once each photon had enough energy to surpass the threshold, so when the intensity was increased, more photons were being utilized, and therefore, more electrons were removed from the surface.This allowed the scientists performing the experiment to conclude that light has both particle and wave-like properties which is why light acts as a wave in some experiments and as particles in other experiments like the photoelectric effect. I know I made this pretty wordy; I hope I helped a little bit though


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