Summary Notes Clarification


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Jamie Hsu
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:19 am

Summary Notes Clarification

Postby Jamie Hsu » Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:20 pm

In our summary notes, I am reviewing how "in the photoelectric experiment, light sources with long wavelength light cannot eject electrons." Can someone please clarify why this is the case?

Seohyun Park 1L
Posts: 73
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:29 am

Re: Summary Notes Clarification

Postby Seohyun Park 1L » Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:24 pm

If a light has a long wavelength, it has a small frequency. The energy per photon is determined by E = hv (with v being frequency and h is Plank's constant). Small frequency means less energy per photon, making the photon not have enough energy to remove the electron from the metal.

Sophia Ding 1B
Posts: 62
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:16 am

Re: Summary Notes Clarification

Postby Sophia Ding 1B » Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:42 am

Adding on to Seohyun's reply, this concept is due to the fact that a long wavelength has a smaller frequency than waves with a short wavelength. The energy of a photon is determined by the E = hv equation, thus not acting in accordance to what people would believe for the intensity of light to emit electrons, as the energy actually depends on frequency rather than intensity (which only increases the NUMBER of protons rather their energy to eject the electrons). Just consider the interaction between a photon and electron, and how you need sufficient energy to emit that electron -- determined by frequency rather than intensity!

Linh Vo 2J
Posts: 61
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2018 3:00 am

Re: Summary Notes Clarification

Postby Linh Vo 2J » Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:41 pm

I was actually very confused about this myself recently, but I believe that the reason why long wavelengths cannot eject e- is because long wavelengths means smaller frequency. Frequency is related to energy and if there is small frequency, the energy is small too, thus meaning insufficient energy to emit an electron. However, with a short wavelength, it has high frequency, meaning high energy. Thus, it has sufficient energy. Hope this helps!


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