Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Photoelectric effect and free electrons

  1. Mar 24, 2016 #1
    When we shine a light of particular color on a metal,it expells the free electrons present in the metal.In that case,doesn't the metal get ionized ?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 24, 2016 #2

    Borek

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Depends on what you exactly mean by ionization. You won't be able to point to ions. There are no isolated, charged atoms, rather every single atom misses a piece of an electron.
     
  4. Mar 24, 2016 #3
    Can you elaborate more on that ? And you say they "miss a piece of electron", why can't that be called ionisation ?
     
  5. Mar 24, 2016 #4
    In a metal, the outermost electrons are delocalised rather than bound to an individual atom, so no single metal atom loses an electron.
     
  6. Mar 25, 2016 #5
    What do you mean by delocalised ?
     
  7. Mar 25, 2016 #6
    Have you tried the wikipoedia page on delocalized electrons?
     
  8. Mar 25, 2016 #7
    I just went through the page.I still can't get it.Even if it is delocalized,it is still a free electron that once belonged to the metal's atoms.So any way there is a losing that takes place.In that case,considering the metal to be ionized should be right,isn't it ?
     
  9. Mar 25, 2016 #8

    Drakkith

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    The metal will be charged unless it replaces the missing electron, but we don't say that the metal is ionized. That terms is usually reserved for single atoms and sometimes molecules.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted



Similar Discussions: Photoelectric effect and free electrons
  1. Free electrons (Replies: 3)

  2. Free energy (Replies: 3)

  3. Resonance effect (Replies: 1)

Loading...