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Work Function: Increase in Energy

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:54 pm
by Pipiena Malafu 3J
So what does increasing the energy emitted from some light source do? Does it affect the intensity at which electrons are ejected or does it affect the number of electrons ejected? Does it do both?

Re: Work Function: Increase in Energy

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:13 pm
by Nada AbouHaiba 1I
This depends on whether or not one photon of light has enough energy to eject one electron. If this one photon has enough energy then by increasing the intensity of light you then increase the amount of photons, which then increases the amount of electrons that are ejected (1 photon per electron sort of idea)

However, if there isn't enough energy in this one photon to eject an electron then increasing the intensity of this light won't do anything. This is what they discovered in the photoelectric experiment

Hope this helped! :)

Re: Work Function: Increase in Energy

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:17 pm
by Pipiena Malafu 3J
Thank you for the clarification, Nada! :-)

Re: Work Function: Increase in Energy

Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:04 pm
by Linh Vo 2J
To add on to the discussion, my UA told me today an analogy that I think would be really helpful! She said that increasing the intensity of a wavelength won't have an effect on the electron if there is not enough energy to eject an electron. Think of it like a hurdle. If the person attempting to jump over the hurdle does not have enough energy to complete the task, he will be unable to jump over the hurdle. Increasing the number of people incapable of jumping over the hurdle (otherwise known as increasing the intensity) does not help eject the electron in any way. Rather, the person needs more energy in order to complete the task. This analogy is similar to ejecting an electron in that only increasing the energy will allow the electron to be emitted.