# Photoelectric Effect: Working out kinetic energy of photoelectron

In summary: I think i was doing it on my calculator wrong as now I am back home and using wolfram alpha I am now getting the 2.49*10^(-19} value for the KE.

## Homework Statement

With the work function of copper being 4.65eV calculate the kinetic energy of a photoelectron knocked out with a photon with wavelength of 200nm . Then calculate the velocity of the electron.

KE=hf-ø

## The Attempt at a Solution

FIrst time I have done a question on this and what is confusing me is the KE comes out to be almost exactly equal to the work function but with a negative value, because hf is so small. This is what I have done

$$KE=hf-ø \\ KE=(6.621 \times 10^{-34})(\frac{3 \times 10^8}{2 \times 10^{-7}})-4.65 \\ KE=-4.649999999999999999006085 \\$$

I had to use wolfram alpha to get that result as every calculator I have used just rounded to -4.65, I don't know whether this is the whole point or not? If it is correct then I can just calculator the velocity with 1/2mv^2 and using the mass of the electron right?

Any help is appreciated,

thanks :)

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Have you checked your units?! The work function is in electronvolts!

Carrying units throughout your calculation may be a pain, but it is your first "line of defense", and it tells you if you've done something silly. It also prevents you from being careless.

So keep the units for every single variable and constants that you use in the equation!

Zz.

ZapperZ said:
Have you checked your units?! The work function is in electronvolts!

Carrying units throughout your calculation may be a pain, but it is your first "line of defense", and it tells you if you've done something silly. It also prevents you from being careless.

So keep the units for every single variable and constants that you use in the equation!

Zz.

Right, so it is 4.65eV, and 1ev is 1.6x10^(-19)J so that means the KE is = 4.65 x 1.6 x 10^(-19) = 7.44 x 10^(-19)J?

Or is it done like..
$$KE=hf-ø \\ KE=(6.621 \times 10^{-34})(\frac{3 \times 10^8}{2 \times 10^{-7}})-(4.65 \times 1.602 \times 10^{-19}) \\ KE=7.389 \times 10^{-37} J \\$$

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If it is how i did it the second time in the above post, the velocity then becomes...

$$KE=7.389 \times 10^{-37} J \\ \frac{1}{2} m_e v^2=7.389 \times 10^{-37} \\ v=\sqrt{\frac{7.389 \times 10^{-37}}{2m_e}} \\ v=\sqrt{\frac{7.389 \times 10^{-37}}{2(9.12 \times 10^{-31}}}=6.36 \times 10^{-4} m/s \\$$

or if its the first its
$$KE=7.4 \times 10^{-19} J \\ \frac{1}{2}m_ev^2=7.4 \times 10^{-19} \\ v=\sqrt{\frac{7.4 \times 10^{-19}}{2m_e}} \\ v=\sqrt{\frac{7.4 \times 10^{-19}}{2(9.12 \times 10^{-31}}}=6.4 \times 10^5 m/s =640km/s\\$$

A big difference, the first is more likely, however I always envisiged them moving a lot faster than that. I think both must be wrong.

I would really appreciate it, like loads, if someone could let me know if either of the ways I did it in my second d post (post 3 in the thread), were correct. The homework is due in in 3 hours, thanks :)

Right, so it is 4.65eV, and 1ev is 1.6x10^(-19)J so that means the KE is = 4.65 x 1.6 x 10^(-19) = 7.44 x 10^(-19)J?

Or is it done like..
$$KE=hf-ø \\ KE=(6.621 \times 10^{-34})(\frac{3 \times 10^8}{2 \times 10^{-7}})-(4.65 \times 1.602 \times 10^{-19}) \\ KE=7.389 \times 10^{-37} J \\$$

You should be getting KE = 2.49 x 10-19J

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Tanya Sharma said:

You should be getting KE = 2.49 x 10-19J

With the values I used in the post I keep coming up with the values I got earlier, should I be using, or rather would it make it easier if I used the value stated for the plank constant in EV?

Its too late now as I handed it in but at least I can then understand where I went wrong. Thanks :)

With the values I used in the post I keep coming up with the values I got earlier, should I be using, or rather would it make it easier if I used the value stated for the plank constant in EV?

Its too late now as I handed it in but at least I can then understand where I went wrong. Thanks :)

What value are you getting for hf in Joules?

With the values I used in the post I keep coming up with the values I got earlier, should I be using, or rather would it make it easier if I used the value stated for the plank constant in EV?

Its too late now as I handed it in but at least I can then understand where I went wrong. Thanks :)

You have a problem with the exponents.
What is $\frac{10^{-34} \times 10^8}{10^{-7}}$?

Tanya Sharma said:
What value are you getting for hf in Joules?

I think i was doing it on my calculator wrong as now I am back home and using wolfram alpha I am now getting the 2.49*10^(-19} value for the KE.

I know it depends on the calculator but what I was doing, to make it easier, instead of getting lost in parantheses I first just did 300000000/0.0000007 and then multiplied that answer by planks constant in Joules and then presses enter to get the value for hf and then subtracted (4.65*1.602*10^(-19)). I can see it was a calcualtor user error somwhere along the line.

Thanks for your help.

nasu said:
You have a problem with the exponents.
What is $\frac{10^{-34} \times 10^8}{10^{-7}}$?

would it be $\frac{10^{-34+8}}{10^{-7}}=\frac{10^{-26}}{10^{-7}}=10^{(-26)-(-7)}=10^{-19}$ ?

would it be $\frac{10^{-34+8}}{10^{-7}}=\frac{10^{-26}}{10^{-7}}=10^{(-26)-(-7)}=10^{-19}$ ?

Yes, this is it. :)

You don't need a calculator for this, do you?
Use it just to do the 6.6*3/2 (if you really need a calculator for this) and you will be less likely to make a mistake of many orders of magnitude. :)
One of the reasons for using scientific notation is that you can split the calculation into two parts. The exponential part separately and the (small) numbers in front of the exponential factors separately.

nasu said:
Yes, this is it. :)

You don't need a calculator for this, do you?
Use it just to do the 6.6*3/2 (if you really need a calculator for this) and you will be less likely to make a mistake of many orders of magnitude. :)
One of the reasons for using scientific notation is that you can split the calculation into two parts. The exponential part separately and the (small) numbers in front of the exponential factors separately.

True, I didnt even think to try and do it in my head and just went straight to the calculator. Thanks :)

## What is the photoelectric effect?

The photoelectric effect is the phenomenon where electrons are emitted from a surface when it is exposed to electromagnetic radiation, such as light.

## How does the photoelectric effect work?

In the photoelectric effect, photons of electromagnetic radiation (usually light) strike a metallic surface and transfer their energy to electrons, causing them to be emitted from the surface.

## What is the kinetic energy of a photoelectron?

The kinetic energy of a photoelectron is the energy it possesses due to its motion after being emitted from a surface in the photoelectric effect. It can be calculated using the equation K = hf - Φ, where K is kinetic energy, h is Planck's constant, f is the frequency of the incident light, and Φ is the work function of the surface.

## What factors affect the kinetic energy of a photoelectron?

The kinetic energy of a photoelectron is affected by the frequency of the incident light, the work function of the surface, and the angle at which the light strikes the surface. Increasing the frequency or decreasing the work function will result in a higher kinetic energy for the emitted electrons.

## What is the significance of the photoelectric effect?

The photoelectric effect has many applications in technology, such as in solar cells and photoelectric sensors. It also played a crucial role in the development of quantum mechanics and helped to confirm the particle nature of light.

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