1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
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 sunlight.

  1. Nov 7, 2011 #1
    Hello, I apologize if this question makes no sense, or is stupid, but I would just like to clarify something.

    Is the light that comes from the sun a high enough intensity to "knock" any electrons out of the atoms in a metal? I know it is a high enough frequency, and I think the intensity is high enough, but I'd just like to make sure.

    Thank you very much, and again I apologize if my question made little sense.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 7, 2011 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    The photoelectric effect is independent of intensity. A single photon can knock an electron out of metal as long as the frequency is high enough, aka it has enough energy. Intensity merely causes MORE electrons to be knocked out per unit of time.
  4. Nov 7, 2011 #3
    Visible light cant.
    X-ray i think can knock out an electron of almost everything.
    The problem is if they can get to your metal. most of UV and higher get blocked by the atmosphere.
  5. Nov 7, 2011 #4
    Really? I thought that blue light on the visible spectrum was a high enough frequency to "knock" the electrons out of metal, I guess I thought wrong. Thanks for your answers both of you.
  6. Nov 8, 2011 #5


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    From wikipedia:
    The article is here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photoelectric_effect
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Discussions: Photoelectric effect, and sunlight.
  1. Photoelectric effect (Replies: 1)

  2. Photoelectric effect (Replies: 5)

  3. Photoelectric effect (Replies: 3)