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Instructor: Dr. Mehr Nigar
Classical Description of an atom

Coulomb’s Force Law

F(r) = (-e)(e)/4πε0r2 = -e2/4πε0r2

e = absolute value of electron charge

r = distance between two charges
ε0= permittivity constant of a vacuum 8.854 x 10-12 C2J-1m-1
 Failure of the Classical description of Atom
 Introduction to Quantum Mechanics: Wave-particle
 Light as a wave; characteristics of waves
 Light as a particle; photoelectric effect
Classical Description of an Atom

Coulomb’s Force Law:

Describes force as a function of r (distance)

Does NOT tell how r changes with time, t
When r → ∞ F(r) → 0

When r → 0 F(r) → ∞

There is however a CLASSICAL EQUATION OF MOTION that can describe how

the electron and the nucleus change position with time.
Newton’s Second Law

F = ma Force = mass x acceleration

F = m (dv/dt) = m(d2r/dt2)

Put in Coulomb’s Force law for F

For rinitial = 10 Å

r = 0 at t = 10-10 s!!!
Qualitatively the electron should plummet into the nucleus in 0.1 nano seconds!!!

Laws of classical mechanics no longer work at this size scale!

Quantum Mechanics explains the behavior of atom in a better way.
Failure of Classical Mechanics

What is wrong in this mathematical


Coulomb’s Force Law?

Newtonian Mechanics? F = ma

The laws of classical mechanics no longer work at this size scale!

The Quantum Revolution!

“Will we ever understand the atom?”

(question posed to Niels Bohr)
Bohr: “Yes, we will, but only if we change
what we mean by the word understand.”
“Things on small scale behave like nothing
that you have any direct experience
about.” Richard Feynman (1963)
Assumptions made by Quantum
Matter and radiation display both wave-like
and particle-like properties.
Light consists of discrete packets of
energy called photons.
Properties of Waves

Waves tend to have a periodic variation of

some quantity
Examples of Waves

Water Waves
Sound Waves
Amplitude, Wavelength and

Amplitude is defined as the deviation from the average level, it can be positive or

Wavelength is the distance between the successive maxima or minima.

Frequency is the number of cycles per unit time.
What is the amplitude of the water wave below?

10 m x

12 m

1. 10 m
2. 12 m
3. 5m
4. 6m
Light Waves

Image courtesy of MIT open coursware

Light (electromagnetic radiation) is a periodic variation of an electric field.

How fast is a wave of light travelling?

At t = 0

At t = 1/f
(one period)

Speed = distance traveled / time elapsed

Speed =  = f m/sec
1/ f
Speed of EM Radiation

Electromagnetic radiation has a constant

speed, c (the speed of light)

f = c = 2.9979 x 108 ms-1

(c  670,000,000 mph, or 186,000 miles/sec!

Compare light wave A to light wave B as
illustrated below:

light wave A light wave B

1. Light wave A has a
shorter  and a lower
2. Light wave A has a
shorter  and a higher
3. Light wave A has a
longer  and a higher
4. Light wave A has a
longer  and a lower f.
Electromagnetic Spectrum

Low Frequencies
Applications of Flourescence

Fluorescent Paint

Quantum Dots

Frequency  of the emitted light is proportional to the size of the quantum dot.
Superposition of Waves
Applications of Destructive
Noise Cancellation Headphones:

Take in the ambient noise waves and inbuilt batteries

Produce waves to cancel out the noise waves
 A laser is source of light that emits the purest, brightest color of any device
known. The word laser is an acronym standing for light amplification by
stimulated emission of radiation. A gas laser is just a discharge tube with
mirrors on each end. One of the mirrors is only partially reflecting, to allow
some light to escape.
 The earliest gas laser (invented in 1961) is the helium-neon laser, which
emits red light of wavelength  = 6.328 x 10-5 cm (632.8 nm); it came into
widespread use in barcode scanning. Calculate the frequency and wave
number of this laser light.
 Solution:
f = c/ = (2.998 x 1010 cm s-1) / (6.328 x 10-5 cm)
= 4.738 x 1014 cycles s-1 = 4.738 x 1014 Hz
wave number = 1/  = 15,800 cm-1
Light as as Particle: The Photoelectric
Established in 1800’s that light was a
Diffraction of light was observable
Constructive and destructive interference of
light was observable
Lenard’s Photoelectric Apparatus:
The Experiment:

By varying the voltage on a negatively charged grid between

the ejecting surface and the collector plate, Lenard was able

Determine that the particles had a negative charge.

Determine the kinetic energy of the ejected particles.

Perplexing Problems:
The intensity of light had no effect on the
kinetic energy of the electrons.

There was a threshold frequency f0 for

electron ejection.

Classical Physics failed to explain these

observations. Lenard won the Nobel Prize
in Physics in 1905!
Graph of number of electrons vs. frequency

No electrons were ejected below a certain

threshold frequency, which was different
for each metal.
The number of electrons ejected was not
related to the frequency of the incident
Kinetic Energy of Electrons
Intensity of Light vs. number of
Number of electrons as a function of
Einstein’s Observations

y = mx + b
Slope (m) = 6.626 x 10-34 Js

Intercept (b) = (6.626 x 10-34 Js)0

Planck had observed this number much earlier as a fitting constant to explain
Black body radiation.
Einstein’s Relations:
Einstein predicted that a graph of the maximum kinetic energy
versus frequency would be a straight line, given by the linear
KE = hf - Φ
…Therefore light energy comes in multiples of hv

This was published in his famous 1905 paper:

“On a Heuristic Point of View About the Creation and Conversion of Light”
Einstein’s Interpretation
A new theory of light:

 Electromagnetic waves carry discrete energy

packets, called photons.

 Energy of a photon is proportional to its frequency.

 More intense light corresponds to a greater number

of photons, not higher energy photons.

This was published in his famous 1905 paper:

“On a Heuristic Point of View About the Creation and Conversion of Light”
New Model for Photoelectric Effect:

Ei = K.E + 
K.E = Ei - 
If a beam of light with energy = 7.0 eV (1 eV = 1.602 x
10-19 J) strikes a gold surface, what is the maximum
kinetic energy of the ejected electrons.

light (Ei = 4.0 eV)

gold ( = 5.1 eV)

1) K.E. = 12.1 eV
2) K.E. = 5.1 eV
3) K.E. = 1.9 eV
4) K.E. = 7.0 eV
5) No electrons will be ejected.
Ei = Incident Energy
If f  f0 No electrons are ejected! f0 = threshold frequency
 = Work Function
If f  f0 Electrons are ejected!
Energy of a photon:
 Energy of a photon must be equal to or greater than the work
function of a metal, for an electron to be ejected.

e- is ejected! e- is NOT ejected! e- is NOT ejected!

In photoelectric effect, light is acting as particles and NOT waves, therefore the energies
cannot add up; like they do in case of waves.
 If the incident beam has insufficient energy i.e Ei < , no matter how intense
the beam, electrons will not be ejected.
 If Ei >  then does the intensity of the incident beam has any effect on the
ejected electrons?

Each photon ejects a single electron, therefore the greater the number of incident
photons the higher the number of ejected electrons.
Intensity of light (energy/sec) is proportional to the # of photons emitted/sec.
High intensity means more photons/sec, Unit of Intensity = W = Js-1
NOT more E / photon
Summary of Terminology:
 Photons: also called light, electromagnetic radiation, may be described in
terms of energy,  or f.

 Electrons: also referred to as “photelectrons”, may be described in terms of

K.E., velocity or .
Problem 1
 Consider two light sources; a UV lamp ( = 254 nm) and a laser pointer
( = 700 nm), are these two light sources capable of ejecting electrons
from a Zinc plate? ( = 6.9 x 10-19J)
1) What is the energy/photon emitted by the UV lamp?

E = 7.82 x 10-19J, the UV lamp does have enough energy to eject an electron from Zn surface.

2) What is the energy/photon emitted by the Laser pointer?

E = 2.84 x 10-19J, the laser pointer does NOT have enough energy to eject an electron from Zn

3) What is the total number of photons emitted by the laser pointer in 60 seconds if intensity (I) =

# of photons emitted if the laser pointer is used for 60 s = 2.1 x 1017 photons.

The intensity of light is NOT related to the energy of its photons!

Problem 2:
 The “electric eyes” used to open doors automatically are based on the
photoelectric effect. The metal surface inside the “eye” which is basically an
evacuated glass envelope containing the surface (cathode) and a
photocurrent collector (anode), continuously provide current until the light
beam that actuates it is interrupted. What is the maximum kinetic energy of
photoelectrons produced by a mercury vapor lamp, emitting 436 nm violet
light, actuating an electric eye of work function 2.1eV?

 K.E = Ei - 
 K.E = hc/ - 

 K.E = 6.626 x 10-34 Js x 2.998 x 108 ms-1 – (2.1 x 1.602 x 10-19Js-1)

436 x 10-9 m

K.E = 1.19 x 10-19 Js-1 = 0.74 eV

Problem 3:
 If a beam of light with energy = 5.0 eV (1 eV = 1.602 x
10-19 J) strikes a gold surface, what is the maximum
kinetic energy of the ejected electrons.
Light Ei = 5.0 eV

gold ( = 5.1 eV)

No electrons will be ejected!

Practical Applications of Photoelectric
 Photocell: A vacuum tube with a photosensitive cathode, electrons
flow from cathode to anode to complete the circuit in presence of
light. Can be made responsive to light or to removal of light.

 Photoconductive devices: lead to an increase in the conductivity

of a non-metallic material when exposed to light.

 Solar Cells: act like a battery when exposed to light. Individual solar
cells produce voltages of about 0.6 volts but higher voltages and
large currents can be obtained by appropriately connecting many
solar cells together
Read more:
 <a href="http://science.jrank.org/pages/5169/Photoelectric-Effect-
Applications.html">Photoelectric Effect - Applications</a>