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Homework Help: Quantum Physics - Frankhertz experiment

  1. Sep 16, 2009 #1
    I'm doing the frank hertz experiment and in preparation I'm trying to get a few questions answered.

    any help would be greatly appreciated,

    Considering that the energy of the 1st excited state of the mercury atom is ~4.8eV above that of the ground state, what is the maximum amount of energy that an electron with 4.0 eV of kinetic energy can loose to a mercury atom with which it collides? What about for a 6.0 eV electron (neglect the recoil at mercury atom)?

    I haven't really done quantum physics study before(not yet in a few weeks we start), BUT I do know from memory that,
    1eV = (1.6*10^-19C)*(1V) = 1.6*10^-19 Joules

    so I'm guessing that the Electron upon collision with the mercury atom, would transfer most of it's energy to the mercury atom,

    I'm going to say the whole 4eV = 4*(1.6*10^-19J) = 6.4*10^-19 Joules

    Not sure though, Do I have to use momentum and conservation of momentum?
    Is it an in-ellastic collision?

    How would I answer for the energy of a 6eV electron coliding with the mercury atom?

    Why is the collecting anode made negative with respect to the grid?

    I can actually answer this question, but would like some one to check

    The cathode emits electrons to pass through the grid and be collected at the anode,

    so the anode is kept at a lower potential than the grid to stop the electrons from getting extra kinetic energy

    Why must the Franck‐Hertz tube be operated at an elevated temperature? What is the consequence of going to a temperature even higher than recommended?

    Well I thought that the tube gets hot because of the cathode being heated up,

    the only way for the cathode to emit electrons would be to heat it to give it enough energy for electrons to be emitted

    consequences of heating the tube higher would be a higher resistance in the circuit perhaps? giving innacurate results?

    is this a valid answer to the question?
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2009
  2. jcsd
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