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Physics

Particles and Waves

AP Learning Objectives
ATOMIC AND NUCLEAR PHYSICS
Atomic physics and quantum effects
Photons, the photoelectric effect, Compton
scattering, x-rays
Students should know the properties of photons,
so they can:
Relate the energy of a photon in joules or
electron-volts to its wavelength or frequency.
Relate the linear momentum of a photon to its
energy or wavelength, and apply linear
momentum conservation to simple processes
involving the emission, absorption, or
reflection of photons.
Calculate the number of photons per second
emitted by a monochromatic source of
specific wavelength and power.

AP Learning Objectives
ATOMIC AND NUCLEAR PHYSICS
Atomic physics and quantum effects
Photons, the photoelectric effect, Compton scattering, xrays
Students should understand the photoelectric effect, so they
can:
Describe a typical photoelectric-effect experiment, and
explain what experimental observations provide evidence for
the photon nature of light.
Describe qualitatively how the number of photoelectrons and
their maximum kinetic energy depend on the wavelength
and intensity of the light striking the surface, and account
for this dependence in terms of a photon model of light.
Determine the maximum kinetic energy of photoelectrons
ejected by photons of one energy or wavelength, when
given the maximum kinetic energy of photoelectrons for a
different photon energy or wavelength.
Sketch or identify a graph of stopping potential versus
frequency for a photoelectric-effect experiment, determine
from such a graph the threshold frequency and work
function, and calculate an approximate value of h/e.

AP Learning Objectives
ATOMIC AND NUCLEAR PHYSICS
Atomic physics and quantum effects
Photons, the photoelectric effect, Compton
scattering, x-rays
Students should understand Compton scattering,
so they can:
Describe Comptons experiment, and state
what results were observed and by what sort of
analysis these results may be explained.
Account qualitatively for the increase of photon
wavelength that is observed, and explain the
significance of the Compton wavelength.
Students should understand the nature and
production of x-rays, so they can calculate the
shortest wavelength of x-rays that may be
produced by electrons accelerated through a
specified voltage.

AP Learning Objectives
ATOMIC AND NUCLEAR PHYSICS
Atomic physics and quantum effects
Wave-particle duality
Students should understand the concept of de
Broglie wavelength, so they can:
Calculate the wavelength of a particle as a
function of its momentum.
Describe the Davisson-Germer experiment,
and explain how it provides evidence for
the wave nature of electrons.

Table of Contents
1. The Wave-Particle Duality
2. Blackbody Radiation and Plancks Constant
3. Photons and the Photoelectric Effect
4. The Momentum of a Photon and the Compton Effect
5. The De Broglie Wavelength and the Wave Nature of
Matter
6. The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle

Chapter 29:
Particles and Waves
Section 1:
The Wave-Particle Duality

Wave-Particle Duality
When a beam of
electrons is used in a
Youngs double slit
experiment, a fringe
pattern occurs, indicating
interference effects.
Waves can exhibit
particle-like
characteristics
Particles can exhibit
wave-like
characteristics.

29.1.1. A beam of electrons is directed at two narrow slits and the


resulting pattern is observed on a screen that produces a flash
whenever an electron strikes it. What is the most surprising
observation that is made in this experimental apparatus?
a) The electrons do not all strike the screen at the same location.
b) The electrons produce flashes on the screen.
c) The pattern on the screen is an interference pattern.
d) The shadow of the two slits is observed on the screen.
e) The electrons produce the same pattern on the screen with or
without the slits in place.

29.1.2. Which one of the following experiments demonstrates the wave


nature of electrons?
a) Small flashes of light can be observed when electrons strike a special
screen.
b) Electrons directed through a double slit can produce an interference
pattern.
c) The Michelson-Morley experiment confirmed the existence of
electrons and their nature.
d) In the photoelectric effect, electrons are observed to interfere with
electrons in metals.
e) Electrons are observed to interact with photons (light particles).

Chapter 29:
Particles and Waves
Section 2:
Blackbody Radiation
&
Plancks Constant

Blackbody Radiation
All bodies, no matter how hot or cold,
continuously radiate electromagnetic
waves.

Electromagnetic energy is
quantized.

frequency

E n f

n 0,1, 2, 3,
Plancks
constant

6.626 10 34 J s

29.2.1. Which one of the following processes occurs when a charged


atomic particle emits radiation?
a) The particles charge is reduced.
b) The particle turns into a light particle (photon).
c) The particle shows no physical changes.
d) The particle changes from a higher energy state to a lower energy
state.
e) The particle turns into a wave.

29.2.2. Upon which one of the following parameters does the


energy of a photon depend?
a) the mass of the photon
b) the amplitude of the electric field
c) the direction of the electric field
d) the relative phase of the electromagnetic wave relative to the
source that produced it
e) the frequency of the photon

29.2.3. Two quantum oscillator energy levels are 7.572 1019 J and
1.136 1018 J. Determine the frequency of the photon that is
emitted from this atom when a transition is made between these
two levels and determine n for the lower energy level.
a) 2.571 1014 Hz
b) 2.478 1014 Hz
c) 3.381 1014 Hz
d) 3.422 1014 Hz
e) 4.369 1014 Hz

Chapter 29:
Particles and Waves
Section 3:
Photons &
the Photoelectric Effect

Photons
Electromagnetic waves are composed of particle-like
entities called photons.

E f

Photoelectric Effect
Experimental evidence
that light consists of
photons comes from a
phenomenon called the
photoelectric effect.
The Magic Brick Wall

Photoelectric Effect
When light shines on a metal, a photon can give up
its energy to an electron in that metal. The
minimum energy required to remove the least
strongly held electrons is called the work function.

hf

Photon
energy

KE max

Maximum
kinetic energy
of ejected electron

Wo

Minimum
work needed to
eject electron

Graph of Kinetic Energy

KE max

Maximum
kinetic energy
of ejected electron

hf

Photon
energy

Wo

Minimum
work needed to
eject electron

Example 2 The Photoelectric Effect for a Silver Surface


The work function for a silver surface is 4.73 eV. Find the minimum
frequency that light must have to eject electrons from the surface.

hf o KE max Wo

0 J

Wo 4.73 eV 1.60 10 19 J eV
15
fo

1
.
14

10
Hz
34
h
6.626 10 J s

Photoelectric Effect in Digital Cameras

Photoelectric Effect in Light Sensors

29.3.1. In the photoelectric effect experiment, what type of energy


process is occurring?
a) Kinetic energy is transformed into thermal energy.
b) Thermal energy is transformed into electromagnetic energy.
c) Radiant energy is transformed into kinetic energy.
d) Electromagnetic energy is transformed into thermal energy.
e) Radiant energy is transformed into potential energy.

29.3.2. Why can we not see individual photons, but rather light appears to us
to be continuous?
a) A light beam contains a multitude of photons, each with a very small
amount of energy.
b) The wave part of a photon superposes with the wave part of other photons
in the beam, making the beam appear to be continuous.
c) The wave part of the photon extends over a spatial region that is larger
than our eyes can detect.
d) The particle properties of photons do not interact with our eyes.
e) Each photon carries information from the whole electromagnetic
spectrum; and our eyes cannot interpret this information.

29.3.3. Consider the photoelectric effect experiment from the point of view
of classical (or Newtonian) physics. Which one of the following is not
one of the effects you would predict from a classical point of view?
a) There should be a measurable time delay between the time that light first
strikes the metal surface and the time when electrons are first emitted
from the surface of the metal.
b) The kinetic energy of the emitted electrons should vary linearly with the
frequency of light shining on the metal.
c) Light of any frequency shining on the metal surface should cause
electrons to be emitted.
d) The kinetic energy of the emitted electrons should increase
proportionately to the intensity of the light.

29.3.4. A special camera has been designed that opens and closes its
shutter for a very short time. A picture of an illuminated object is
taken with this camera. When the film is developed, only tiny, bright
dots appear randomly distributed on the picture. What does this
experiment tell us about the nature of light?
a) The dots are an interference pattern, which proves the wave nature of
light.
b) The small number of dots indicates that light waves were cut off by
the shutter as it closed.
c) The camera lens could not focus the light waves at a point on the film
with such a short time.
d) The random distribution of dots shows the particle nature of light.

29.3.5. When the photoelectric effect experiments were performed,


one effect was inconsistent with classical physics. What was it?
a) The kinetic energy of the ejected electrons did not vary with light
intensity.
b) The fact that electrons could form a current within a vacuum.
c) The kinetic energy of the ejected electrons increased as the
frequency of light increased.
d) The fact that light could free electrons from the surface of a metal.
e) The kinetic energy of the ejected electrons increased as the
wavelength of light decreased.

29.3.6. What was a surprising result of the photoelectric effect


experiments?
a) The electrons behaved like matter waves.
b) Below a certain frequency, no electrons could be ejected from the
metal surface.
c) Individual photons behaved like waves.
d) Above a certain light frequency, the current became zero amperes.
e) Light was proven to exhibit only a wave nature.

29.3.7. If light only had wave-like properties, you would not expect
there to be a cutoff frequency. Why is this true?
a) Only particles can eject electrons from a surface.
b) The energy of a wave does not depend on its frequency.
c) Light waves of lower frequency would still be able to eject
electrons.
d) An electromagnetic wave would be able to eject an electron from a
surface. It would just take longer.
e) None of the above answers are correct.

29.3.8. In an ideally dark room, a double-slit experiment is carried


out using a source that releases one photon at a time at a slow
rate. The observation screen in the experiment is replaced with
photographic film which provides a recording of the photons
striking it over time. After some time has passed, the film is
removed and developed into a photograph. What is observed
on the photograph?
a) two bright bands that correspond to the two slits
b) an interference pattern
c) a single bright band
d) Its impossible to guess.

29.3.9. If a double-slit experiment is carried out using a source that releases


one photon at a time at a slow rate, an interference pattern may be
observed if the screen is replaced with photographic film. What
produces the interference?
a) Each photon interferes with the photons that have previously passed
through a slit.
b) Each photon interferes with the photons that pass through the slit after it.
c) Each photon interferes with all of the photons that ever go through the
slit.
d) Each photon interferes with itself.
e) Each photon interferes with the slit.

Chapter 29:
Particles and Waves
Section 4:
The Momentum of a Photon &
the Compton Effect

Momentum of Light?
Arthur Compton directed
Xrays at a sample of
graphite, and found that
the frequency of the
scattered light was a
different frequency
The scattered photon
and the recoil electron
depart the collision in
different directions.
Due to conservation of
energy, the scattered
photon must have a
smaller frequency.
This is called the
Compton effect.

Derivation of Compton Wavelength


E p , o Ee , o E p

Energy is
conserved in the collision.

E p , o f o

Energy of
incident
photon

Initial
Energy of
electron

Energy of
scattered
photon

E p f

Ee

f o me c f

pe c

Ee ,o me c

Kinetic Energy
of recoil
electron

pe c

E
e

me c

p c f o me c f
2

2 2

Solve for (pec)2


2 2
e

me c

me2 c 4

2 2

Derivation of Compton Wavelength


p p ,o

Momentum is
conserved in the collision.

pe p p , o p p

Momentum
of incident
photon

p e p p ,o p p
2

c f
f
f
pc

pp

Momentum
of scattered
photon

p
e

Momentum
of recoil
electron

p 2e p p ,o p p p p ,o p p
p 2e p 2p ,o p 2p 2 p p ,o p p cos
p 2e c 2 p 2p ,o c 2 p 2p c 2 2 p p ,o p p c 2 cos

p 2e c 2 2 f o2 2 f 2 2 2 f o f cos

Derivation of Compton Wavelength

p c f o me c f
2 2
e

me2 c 4 2 f o2 2 f 2 2 2 f o f cos

A B C 2 A2 B 2 C 2 2 AB 2 AC 2 BC
f o

me c

2 2

2f o me c 2 2 2 f o f 2fme c 2 me2 c 4

2 f o2 2 f 2 2 2 f o f cos
2f o me c 2 2fme c 2 2 2 f o f 2 2 f o f cos
2f o me c 2 2fme c 2 2 2 f o f 2 2 f o f cos
Divide both sides by 2hfofmec

c c

1 cos

f f o me c

h
1 cos
o
me c

Conceptual Example 4 Solar Sails and the Propulsion of Spaceships


One propulsion method that is currently being studied for interstellar
travel uses a large sail. The intent is that sunlight striking the sail
creates a force that pushes the ship away from the sun, much as wind
propels a sailboat. Does such a design have any hope of working and,
if so, should the surface facing the sun be shiny like a mirror or black,
in order to produce the greatest force?

29.4.1. A photon of wavelength and frequency f strikes an electron


that is initially at rest. Which one of the following processes occurs
as a result of this collision?
a) The photon gains energy, so the final photon has a frequency greater
than f.
b) The photon loses energy, so the final photon has a frequency less than
f.
c) The photon loses energy, so the final photon has a wavelength less
than l.
d) The photon gains energy, so the final photon has a wavelength
greater than l.
e) The photon is completely absorbed by the electron.

29.4.2. An x-ray photon with an initial wavelength strikes an


electron that is initially at rest. Which one of the following
statements best describes the wavelength of the photon after the
collision?
a) No photon remains after the collision.
b) The scattered photons wavelength will still be , but its frequency
will decrease.
c) The scattered photons wavelength will be longer than .
d) The scattered photons wavelength will be /2.
e) The scattered photons wavelength will be between /2 and .

29.4.3. X-rays with a wavelength of 0.10 nm are scattered from


an argon atom. The scattered x-rays are detected at an angle
of 85 relative to the incident beam. What is the Compton
shift for the scattered x-rays?
a) 0.0022 nm
b) 0.011 nm
c) 0.022 nm
d) 0.041 nm
e) 0.12 nm

Chapter 29:
Particles and Waves
Section 5:
The De Broglie Wavelength &
the Wave Nature of Matter

Wave Nature of Matter?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfPeprQ7oGc

The de Broglie Wavelength


The wavelength of a particle is given
by the same relation that applies to a
photon:

Example 5 The de Broglie Wavelength of an Electron and a Baseball


Determine the de Broglie wavelength of (a) an electron moving at a speed
of 6.0x106 m/s and (b) a baseball (mass = 0.15 kg) moving at a speed
of 13 m/s.

6.63 10 J s
p
9.110 kg 6.0 10

h p

34

31

6.63 10

m s

1.2 10 10 m

J s
3.3 10 34 m
0.15 kg 13 m s
34

29.5.1. Estimate the de Broglie wavelength of a honey bee


flying at its maximum speed.
a) A honey bee cannot have a wavelength.
b) 2 1018 m
c) 5 1032 m
d) 4 1036 m
e) 1 1040 m

29.5.2. What is the de Broglie wavelength of a particle, such as an


electron, at rest?
a) The wavelength would be zero meters.
b) The wavelength would be infinitely small and not measureable.
c) This has no meaning. The de Broglie wavelength only applies to
moving particles.
d) Davisson and Germer measured this wavelength in their apparatus
and found it to be around 1010 m.

Chapter 29:
Particles and Waves
Section 6:
The Heisenberg Uncertainty
Principle

The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle

Momentum and position

p y y
4

Uncertainty in y component
of the particles momentum

Uncertainty in particles
position along the y direction

The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle

Energy and time

E t
4

Uncertainty in the energy


of a particle when the particle
is in a certain state

time interval during


which the particle is
in that state

Conceptual Example 7 What if Plancks Constant Were Large?


A bullet leaving the barrel of a gun is analogous to an electron passing
through the single slit. With this analogy in mind, what would hunting
be like if Plancks constant has a relatively large value?

29.6.1. Which one of the following statements provides the best description
of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle?
a) If a particle is confined to a region x, then its momentum is within some
range p.
b) If the error in measuring the position is x, then we can determine the
error in measuring the momentum p.
c) If one measures the position of a particle, then the value of the
momentum will change.
d) It is not possible to be certain of any measurement.
e) Depending on the degree of certainty in measuring the position of a
particle, the degree of certainty in measuring the momentum is affected.

29.6.2. The position along the x axis of an electron is known to be


between 0.31 nm and + 0.31 nm. How would the uncertainty in the
momentum of the electron change if the electron were allowed to be
between 0.62 nm and +0.62 nm?
a) The uncertainty in the momentum would be twice its previous value.
b) The uncertainty in the momentum would be half of its previous value.
c) The uncertainty in the momentum would not be affected by this
change.
d) The uncertainty in the momentum would be four times its previous
value.
e) The uncertainty in the momentum would be one fourth its previous
value.