Application

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asalest 2K
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Application

Postby asalest 2K » Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:43 pm

does the photoelectric effect only apply to metal surfaces?

Marylyn Makar 1B
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Re: Application

Postby Marylyn Makar 1B » Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:52 pm

Hi! Yes, it only applies to metals because the original experiment was done by shining light on a metal surface to measure the energy needed to eject electrons from the surface.

Marcus Lagman 2A
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Re: Application

Postby Marcus Lagman 2A » Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:59 pm

Hello,

From what I understand, metal is used in the photoelectric effect because of how electrons are loosely connected and abundant in metals; therefore its easy to eject an electron.

If the photoelectric effect was applied to a nonmetallic surface, the electrons would get excited but would not be emitted from the surface because of how tightly bounded electrons are on nonmetallic materials. Instead, the electron would return to its ground state.

In short, the photoelectric effect is only applicable to metals because of how electrons are easier to emit. I hope this helps!

JoshMoore2B
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Re: Application

Postby JoshMoore2B » Fri Oct 23, 2020 3:22 pm

asalest 2K wrote:does the photoelectric effect only apply to metal surfaces?


Another way to explain this in a way you might have heard before that the other answers didn't quite touch on is that, in metals, electrons are allowed to move freely through the surface. This greater freedom of movement allows the photons to interact with them easier and thus makes their ejection and the process of the experiment much easier.

Inderpal Singh 2L
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Re: Application

Postby Inderpal Singh 2L » Fri Oct 23, 2020 3:45 pm

I believe that it only does apply to metal surfaces :) but I would double-check.

Juliet Carr 1F
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Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:36 pm

Re: Application

Postby Juliet Carr 1F » Fri Oct 23, 2020 5:46 pm

Similar to what other students have explained, the photoelectric effect can only work on metals because of the nature of metallic bonds. Metallic bonds create a 'sea of electrons', which can be easily emitted from the metal when the energy of the photons in the light shone is greater than or equal to the threshold energy of the electrons in the metal.


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