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Basic Physics 2

Photons, The Foundations of

Quantum Physics

Lecturer: EBY
Student Outcome
 SO1 : menguasai konsep teoretis sains alam,
aplikasi matematika rekayasa; prinsip-prinsip
rekayasa (engineering fundamentals), sains
rekayasa dan perancangan rekayasa yang
diperlukan untuk analisis dan perancangan sistem
Learning Outcome
 LO2 : memiliki ketrampilan dalam memanfaatkan
azas dan metode dalam elektromagnetika untuk
menjelaskan masalah fisik
Photons, The Foundations of
Quantum Physics

 The Photon, The Quantum of Light

 The Photoelectric Effect

 Momentum of a Photon

 Wave–Particle Duality; the Principle of Complementarity

The Photon, The Quantum of Light
Early Stage of  As the 20th century progressed, many
Quantum Mechanics experimental and theoretical problems were
resolved by the special theory of relativity.
 Attempts to apply the laws of classical physics
to explain the behavior of matter on the
atomic scale were consistently unsuccessful.
 For example, the emission of discrete
wavelengths of light from atoms in a high-
temperature gas could not be explained
within the framework of classical physics.
 A new theory called quantum physics or
quantum mechanics was highly successful in
explaining the behavior of particles of
microscopic size.
 The first explanation of a phenomenon using
quantum theory was introduced by Max
The Photon, The Quantum of Light

Spectrum of Emitted Light  One of the observations that was unexplained

at the end of the nineteenth century was the
spectrum of light emitted by hot objects.
 Maxwell’s electromagnetic theory had predicted
that oscillating electric charges produce
electromagnetic waves, and the radiation
emitted by a hot object could be due to the
oscillations of electric charges in the molecules
of the material.
 Although this would explain where the radiation
came from, it did not correctly predict the
observed spectrum of emitted light.
 In the year 1900 Max Planck (1858–1947)
explained that the spectrum depends on only an
object’s temperature, not the material of which it
is made
The Photon, The Quantum of Light
 Einstein made the radical postulate that a
The Quantum of Light
beam of light consists of small packages of
energy called photons or quanta.
 This postulate was an extension of an idea
developed five years earlier by Max
 According to that Einstein’s idea, the
quantum of a light wave of frequency f has
the energy:

 Here h is the Planck constant

The Photon, The Quantum of Light

Photons Rate

 Intense light has so many quanta arriving per second that the light
seems continuous, but very weak light consists of only a few quanta
per second.
 The rate R at which photons are absorbed emitted is

 where R = dN/dt is the rate at which photons arrive or, equivalently,

the number of photons per second
The Photon, The Quantum of Light

Example 1: Photon energy of blue light

Calculate the energy of a photon of blue light, λ =

450 nm in air (or vacuum).
The Photon, The Quantum of Light

Example 2: Light quanta

The retina of your eye has three types of color

photoreceptors, called cones, with maximum
sensitivities at 437 nm, 533 nm, and 575 nm. For
each, what is the energy of one quantum of light
having that wavelength?
The Photon, The Quantum of Light

Example 3: The photon rate in a laser beam

The 1.0 mW light beam of a helium-neon laser (λ =

633 nm) shines on a screen. How many photons
strike the screen each second?
The Photoelectric Effect

First Photoelectric  Light incident on certain metallic surfaces causes

electrons to be emitted from those surfaces.
 This phenomenon is known as the photoelectric
effect, and the emitted electrons are called
 When plate E is illuminated by light having an
appropriate wavelength, a current is detected
by the ammeter, indicating a flow of charges
across the gap between plates E and C.
 This current arises from photoelectrons emitted
from plate E and collected at plate C.
 But, for a given frequency, when the intensity of
light beam is increased, the current remains
The Photoelectric Effect

Second Photoelectric  The photoelectric effect does not occur if

the frequency is below a certain cutoff
Experiment frequency f0 or, equivalently, if the
wavelength is greater than the
corresponding cutoff wavelength λ0 = c/f0.
 The existence of a cutoff frequency is,
however, just what we should expect if the
energy is transferred via photons.
 The electrons within the target are held
there by electric forces.
 To just escape from the target, an electron
must pick up a certain minimum energy
Φ,where Φ is a property of the target
material called its work function.
The Photoelectric Effect
The Photoelectric Equation

 Einstein applied conservation of energy to find that the maximum kinetic

energy Kmax = mvmax2 for an emitted electron is the energy hf gained
from a photon minus the work function Φ.

 Einstein summed up the results of such photoelectric experiments in the

The Photoelectric Effect

Example 4: The Photoelectric Effect for Sodium

A sodium surface is illuminated with light having a

wavelength of 300 nm. The work function for
sodium metal is 2.46 eV.

Find the maximum kinetic energy of the ejected

Momentum of a Photon

 Einstein’s photon concept applies to all

regions of the electromagnetic spectrum,
including radio waves, x rays, and so on. A
photon of any frequency f and wavelength λ
has energy E.
 Furthermore, according to the special theory
of relativity, every particle that has energy
must have momentum.
 Photons have zero rest mass, and a particle
with zero rest mass and energy E has
momentum with magnitude p given by E = pc.
Momentum of a Photon

Example 5: The momentum of a photon

Calculate the momentum of a photon of blue light, λ

= 450 nm in air (or vacuum).
Thank you 