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rtareen

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- TL;DR Summary
- This experiment (not sure what it is called) is supposed to show that light is emitted as photons. However, the results can be explained in terms of Maxwell's model. Book section attached. Book is Sears & Zemansky University Physics 14th edition.

First I'll explain my understanding, because I'm not very confident in it. The main point is that the electrons are ejected and then accelerated to a very high kinetic energy. Then they start smashing into the anode. Most will go through a series of collisions before completely stopping, so that the decelerations will vary, and thus the emitted frequency will vary. But the "lucky" ones will get stopped immediately, so they emit the max frequency, since they undergo the max deceleration.

The book says the fact that there is a max frequency shows that these x-rays are being emitted as photons. However, if we use Maxwell's model, there should still be a max frequency since there is a limit to the initial potential energy, so that there is a limit to the max deceleration. So what I am not understanding?

(PS It was never really explained, but I'm assuming frequency is proportional to acceleration).

The book says the fact that there is a max frequency shows that these x-rays are being emitted as photons. However, if we use Maxwell's model, there should still be a max frequency since there is a limit to the initial potential energy, so that there is a limit to the max deceleration. So what I am not understanding?

(PS It was never really explained, but I'm assuming frequency is proportional to acceleration).