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How can low energy light be detected if it's too weak to knock out an electron?

by Jarfi
Tags: detected, electron, energy, knock, light, weak
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Jarfi
#1
Dec17-12, 01:12 PM
P: 270
A long wavelength light has too little energy to knock out electrons, so how do scinetists detect them? and how does a light with low energy ever cease to exist since it can never be absorbed?
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DrDu
#2
Dec17-12, 01:18 PM
Sci Advisor
P: 3,564
Quote Quote by Jarfi View Post
A long wavelength light has too little energy to knock out electrons, so how do scinetists detect them? and how does a light with low energy ever cease to exist since it can never be absorbed?
Do you know how a radio works?
Jarfi
#3
Dec17-12, 01:20 PM
P: 270
Quote Quote by DrDu View Post
Do you know how a radio works?
I have taken a look at it, but don't fully get it, something about the magnetic field of the wave pushing current..


but then I just thought, to push a current is kind of like knocking out electrons, since they are jumping from their atoms.

oh but to push a current the wave needs to behave like a wave and interact with its magnetic field with the metal atoms, without collapsing, but waves interacting behave as particles? now I'm just more and more confused.

DrDu
#4
Dec17-12, 01:32 PM
Sci Advisor
P: 3,564
How can low energy light be detected if it's too weak to knock out an electron?

The wave accelerates the electrons in a metal due to their electric field, i.e. electric currents are induced. The electrons in a metal are not bound to any specific ions but can move freely. However the accelerated electrons can also scatter from the atomic cores and thus loose the energy they received from the electric field creating thermal motion of the atoms, i.e. heat. That's the reason for the resistance of metals.
In a radio, basically the currents induced are used to move the membrane of the loud speakers. This also diminishes the current as the energy of the currents is converted into sound waves.
Jarfi
#5
Dec17-12, 01:54 PM
P: 270
Quote Quote by DrDu View Post
The wave accelerates the electrons in a metal due to their electric field, i.e. electric currents are induced. The electrons in a metal are not bound to any specific ions but can move freely. However the accelerated electrons can also scatter from the atomic cores and thus loose the energy they received from the electric field creating thermal motion of the atoms, i.e. heat. That's the reason for the resistance of metals.
In a radio, basically the currents induced are used to move the membrane of the loud speakers. This also diminishes the current as the energy of the currents is converted into sound waves.
so the interstellar telescopes are basically just giant radio-antennas who turn the information into pictures.
Drakkith
#6
Dec17-12, 03:59 PM
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Quote Quote by Jarfi View Post
so the interstellar telescopes are basically just giant radio-antennas who turn the information into pictures.
Yep.


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