ejecting electrons in quantized energy levels

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josephyim1L
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Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:15 am

ejecting electrons in quantized energy levels

Postby josephyim1L » Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:01 am

In "ejecting electrons" during the photoelectric experiment, doesn't the ability of the electron to be excited with kinetic energy contradict the rule that electrons only absorb energy in quantized amounts?

Megan Wong 4E
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:28 am

Re: ejecting electrons in quantized energy levels

Postby Megan Wong 4E » Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:35 am

In the photoelectric effect, electrons are excited by incoming light (photons), not by kinetic energy. The energy of the incoming photons must be greater than or equal to the work function. If the incoming energy is greater than the threshold energy, then kinetic energy will be given off as excess energy when electrons are given off as well.

You can use this equation to describe the experiment as well: E photon = work function + kinetic energy

Amy Lefley 1J
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:15 am

Re: ejecting electrons in quantized energy levels

Postby Amy Lefley 1J » Wed Oct 24, 2018 8:37 pm

I think when you reference quantized energy you are thinking about energy levels in an atom. When the electron absorbs the energy of a photon, it can only jump up to an integer amount of energy levels. If the electron absorbs enough energy to be ejected from the atom, the left over energy (photon energy minus work function) is transformed into kinetic energy, which unlike the energy levels, can be any positive value.


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