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Difference between ionization energy and photoelectric effect?

  1. Sep 20, 2008 #1
    hey there, im just school student and is a little bit confused with this quantum physics question. what is the difference between ionization energy and photoelectric emission? is the difference just that ionization energy is an electron removed from an atom in its gaseous state while that of photoelectric effect is the removal of an electron from that of an element in its solid state? or is there more to it?

    ok or rather, the difference between ionization energy and work function of a material?
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 20, 2008 #2


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    no, there's not much more to it that that.
  4. Sep 21, 2008 #3
    Ionization energy is defined as the energy needed to remove an electron from an isolated atom. I think the term usually gets associated with gases because, experimentally speaking, you could measure ionization energy from a gas since the atomic spacing is huge compared to the atoms themselves. If you have a lot of atoms close together (like in a solid), they do not behave as individual atoms because the energy levels merge etc. and a lot of other fun things happen so you can't, at least experimentally, associate ionization energy with a solid.
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