Photoelectric Effect original purpose

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Hana Sigsbee 3B
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Photoelectric Effect original purpose

Postby Hana Sigsbee 3B » Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:47 pm

Hi, I was not super clear on this after the lecture but could anyone please clarify for me what the photoelectric experiment was originally designed to do?

Emily Vu 1L
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Re: Photoelectric Effect original purpose

Postby Emily Vu 1L » Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:55 pm

Hi! So from the lecture I got that the purpose of this experiment was to measure the energy required to remove an electron from different metals. But, as a result of an unexpected outcome, wherein electrons were observed to not eject for high intensity light, it was also utilized to explain why short wavelengths can eject elections from a metal surface while longer ones cannot. I hope this helps!

Samuel Flores 1E
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Re: Photoelectric Effect original purpose

Postby Samuel Flores 1E » Mon Oct 12, 2020 9:04 pm

Hello! In the original photoelectric experiment, the goal of the experiment was to simply determine the energy needed to eject an electron from a metal surface (the threshold energy). In other words, their goal was to measure the threshold energy of different metal surfaces.
Of course, we study this experiment because it provides a model to explain the photon model of light, but the original intent of the experiment was to simply measure different threshold energies.

Hope this helps!

Hana Sigsbee 3B
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Re: Photoelectric Effect original purpose

Postby Hana Sigsbee 3B » Mon Oct 12, 2020 9:24 pm

thank you, that's what I thought just wanted to double-check.

anikamenon2H
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Re: Photoelectric Effect original purpose

Postby anikamenon2H » Mon Oct 12, 2020 10:02 pm

The purpose of the experiment was to determine how tightly elements were holding on to their electrons. In other words, it was to determine how much energy was necessary to remove an electron from different metal surfaces. However, the unexpected result that they found was that the wave model does not ALWAYS apply to light. In fact, in this case light follows a particle model that was developed due to the findings of this experiment. The scientists found that even with high intensity light, if the energy of the photon was not greater than or equal to the work function, an electron would not be emitted.

Hope this helps!

Kelly Tran 1J
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Re: Photoelectric Effect original purpose

Postby Kelly Tran 1J » Tue Oct 13, 2020 12:17 am

To summarize, the original purpose of the photoelectric effect was to measure how much energy of light was required to remove an electron from a metal atom. This experiment was conducted by shining light on a metal surface. If the light had enough energy, it would interact with the atoms on the metal surface and eject an electron.

Samudrala_Vaishnavi 3A
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Re: Photoelectric Effect original purpose

Postby Samudrala_Vaishnavi 3A » Tue Oct 13, 2020 8:10 am

The main question that fueled the set up of the "photoelectric experiment" was to answer the questions how "how different were the work functions or as they called it "threshold potentials" between the different elements?". To answer these questions, metal plates were tested by shining a light of more and more of an intensity until an electron was ejected. The more intensity the more the threshold potential and the more closely held the electrons were in a chemical, THEY THOUGHT. However, changing the intensity of the light didn't result in the uprooting of an electron from the metal in some metals. This is because the intensity only alters the number of the photons available. They thought light was one wave that could work in a higher intensity, but light is actually made up of smaller photons, whose INDIVIDUAL energy or intensity (E) needs to meet or surpass the work function. This can only be done by altering the frequency (E=hv) of an INDIVIDUAL photon (aka changing the light source) rather than adding more photons with the same individual energy lower than the work function (aka. increasing the intensity or brightness of the same light source).


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