Photoelectric effect without photons

  • Thread starter ShayanJ
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  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

Recently I've seen claims here on PF(from some highly trusted members), that photoelectric effect can be described without using the photon concept and so can't be a demonstration of the quantized nature of light. This demonstration is only provided by more advanced experiments.
After that, I tried to find a paper that treats photoelectric effect using classical EM but I couldn't.
Can anyone point to such a paper?
Thanks
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
ZapperZ
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Please read this JJ Thorn et al. paper and the references therein.

http://people.whitman.edu/~beckmk/QM/grangier/Thorn_ajp.pdf

You also have a misunderstanding here. The photoelectric effect experiment is the simplest and most naive demonstration of a more general photoemission phenomenon. The more advanced and more complex experiments such as multiphoton photoemission, angle-resolved photoemission, etc. all do NOT have a classical or semi classical description as of now.

Zz.
 
  • #3
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You also have a misunderstanding here. The photoelectric effect experiment is the simplest and most naive demonstration of a more general photoemission phenomenon. The more advanced and more complex experiments such as multiphoton photoemission, angle-resolved photoemission, etc. all do NOT have a classical or semi classical description as of now.
So photoemission, in the general sense, has no classical or semi-classical description but one of its special cases, the "simplest and most naive" phenomenon considered by Einstein(which was what I meant when I said photoelectric effect because I don't know of a special name for that special case!), can be explained semi-classically i.e. with quantized matter and classical light. Right?
 
  • #4
dextercioby
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Yes, a semiclassical model - 'photoionization of a K shell electron': it's textbook material, see for example D. Blokhintsev's <Quantum Mechanics>, section 95, pp. 320 - 327 - Springer, 1964.
 
  • #5
ZapperZ
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Yes, a semiclassical model - 'photoionization of a K shell electron': it's textbook material, see for example D. Blokhintsev's <Quantum Mechanics>, section 95, pp. 320 - 327 - Springer, 1964.
Although, to be accurate, "photoionization" is not the same as "photoemission/photoelectric" effect. The latter is done on solids and involves electronic bands, rather than electron orbitals of isolated atoms/molecules of the former.

Zz.
 
  • #7
DrDu
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Yes, you can describe this as a scattering of electrons on the periodic classical field.
 

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