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Can conductors be accelerated enough to emit electrons?

  1. Feb 3, 2016 #1
    Can it be done with technology available today? How would you begin to formulate the forces needed? Im assuming the work function is needed.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 3, 2016 #2


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    umm you realise you don't have to accelerate the conductor to get electron emission ?
    and I'm not sure that you could anyway ??

    are you familiar with......

  4. Feb 3, 2016 #3
    Haha yes. Im asking if it could be done through momentum alone. For example, spinning a bar at one end. Could we get it to emit electrons on the opposite end? Could the centrifugal force be greater than the materials work function at any speed? Would it alter energy requirements for field emission?
  5. Feb 3, 2016 #4
    If the centrifugal force is large enough that electrons are emitted, wouldn't the parent atoms experience a larger force( being more massive) and hence break away first?
  6. Feb 3, 2016 #5
    Then why does thermionic emission happen before melting points?
  7. Feb 3, 2016 #6
    That happens for only metals with high melting points. Maybe it's easier to excite electrons than to break down the lattice of the metal ( honestly I don't know what are the factors affecting the work function for thermionic emission). But for the way you proposed, the centrifugal force is mr(omega)^2 , clearly dependent upon mass.
  8. Feb 3, 2016 #7


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    Look up the Richardson-Dushman model.

    http://web.missouri.edu/~kovaleskis/ApplEMandEP/Lectures/Lecture-7.pdf [Broken]

    Unless you understand what a Fermi function is and how temperature changes the metal electronic occupation number, this will all be Greek to you.

    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  9. Feb 3, 2016 #8
    And it contains field emission information. Thank you.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
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