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CHAPTER 3 Classically, light is treated as EM wave

according to Maxwell equation
However, in a few types of experiments, light
EXPERIMENTAL EVIDENCES behave in ways that is not consistent with the
wave picture
In these experiments, light behave like particle
So, is light particle or wave? (recall that wave
and particle are two mutually exclusive
attributes of existence)
This is a paradox that we will discuss in the rest
1 of the course wave particle duality 2

Photoelectric effect Photocurrent I vs applied voltage V

Photoelectrons are ejected from a metal
at constant f
surface when hit by radiation of
sufficiently high frequency f (usually No current flows for a
in the uv region) retarding potential more saturation photocurrent
The photoelectrons are attracted to the negative than Vs I2 at higher radiation
collecting anode (positive) by potential intensity, R2
difference applied on the anode and The photocurrent I
detected as electric current by the saturates for potentials
external circuits
A negative voltage, relative to that of near or above zero
saturation photocurrent
the emitter, can be applied to the Why does the I-V curve
collector. I1 at lower radiation
When this retarding voltage is
rises gradually from Vs intensity, R1
sufficiently large the emitted electrons towards more positive V
are repelled, and the current to the before it flat off ?
collector drops to zero (see later Kmax = eVs f constant
explanation). 3 4

Features of the experimental result
When the external potential difference V = 0, the On the other direction, when V becomes more
current is not zero because the photoelectrons carry negative, the photocurrent detected decreases in
some kinetic energy, K magnitude because the electrons are now moving
K range from 0 to a maximal value, Kmax against the potential
As V becomes more and more positive, there are Kmax can be measured. It is given by eVs, where Vs, is
more electrons attracted towards the anode within a the value of |V| when the current flowing in the
given time interval. Hence the pthotocurrent, I, external circuit = 0
increases with V Vs is called the stopping
stopping potential
Saturation of I will be achieved when all of the When V = -Vs, e of the highest KE will be sufficiently
ejected electron are immediately attracted towards retarded by the external electric potential such that
the anode once they are kicked out from the metal they wont be able to reach the collector
plates (from the curve this happens approximately
when V 0 or larger 5 6

I2 > I1 because more electrons are Stopping potential Vs is radiation

kicked out per unit time by radiation of intensity-independent
larger intensity, R Experimentalists observe
that for a given type of
saturation photocurrent
The photocurrent saturates at a larger value of I2 surface:
I2 at higher radiation
At constant frequency the
when it is irradiated by higher radiation intensity, R2
maximal kinetic energy of
intensity R2 the photoelectrons is
measured to be a constant
This is expected as larger R means energy are independent of the intensity
saturation photocurrent
imparted at a higher rate on the metal surface of light.
I1 at lower radiation
(this is a puzzle to those
intensity, R1
who thinks that light is

Kmax = eVs f constant

7 8

Kmax of photoelectrons is frequency-
dependent at constant radiation Cutoff frequency, f0
intensity From the same graph one
One can also detect the also found that there
stopping potential Vs for a exist a cut-
given material at different frequency f0, below
frequency (at constant which no PE effect
radiation intensity)
Kmax (=eVs) = Kmax is
occurs no matter how
measured to increase intense is the radiation
linearly in the radiation shined on the metal
frequency, surface
i.e. if f increases, Kmax too
Sodium Sodium
9 10

Different material have different cut-

Classical physics cant explain PE
off frequency f0
The experimental results of PE pose
difficulty to classical physicists as they
cannot explain PE effect in terms of
classical physics (Maxwell EM theory,
thermodynamics, classical mechanics etc.)
For different material, the cut-off
frequency is different

11 12

Puzzle one Puzzle two

If light were wave, the energy carried by the Existence of a characteristic cut-off
radiation will increases as the intensity of frequency, 0. (previously I use f0)
the monochromatic light increases
Hence we would also expect Kmax of the Wave theory predicts that photoelectric
electron to increase as the intensity of effect should occur for any frequency as
radiation increases (because K.E. of the long as the light is intense enough to give
photoelectron must come from the energy the energy to eject the photoelectrons.
of the radiation) No cut-off frequency is predicted in
YET THE OBSERVATION IS classical physics.
13 14

Puzzle three Cartoon analogy: in the wave picture, accumulating

the energy required to eject an photoelectron from an
No detection time lag measured. atom is analogous to filling up a tank with water from a
Classical wave theory needs a time lag between pipe until the tank is full. One must wait for certain
length of time (time lag) before the tank can be filled
the instance the light impinge on the surface with
up with water at a give rate. The total water filled is
the instance the photoelectrons being ejected. analogous to the total energy absorbed by electrons
Energy needs to be accumulated for the wave before they are ejected from the metal surface at
front, at a rate proportional to S = 2 c ,

0 Electron
before it has enough energy to eject spills out
photoelectrons. (S = energy flux of the EM from the tank
when the
Water from the pipe water is filled
But, in the PE experiments, PE is almost fills up the tank at up gradually
immediate some constant rate after some
15 time lag 16

Wave theory and the time delay
Use inverse r2 lawArea of the
Energy from the presented by
A potassium foil is placed at a distance r = bulb, P0 = 1 W an atom, a =
3.5 m from a light source whose output (or joule per rb2, where rb =
second) 0.5 Angstrom
power P0 is 1.0 W. How long would it take
for the foil to soak up enough energy (=1.8 r=3.5m
eV) from the beam to eject an electron?
Assume that the ejected electron collected
the energy from a circular area of the foil Energy absorbed by a is
whose radius is 5.3 x 10-11 m = (a/A) x P0
Area of sphere , = ( rb2/4 r2) x 1 Watt
17 A = 4r2 18
= Watt

Einsteins quantum theory of the

photoelectricity (1905)
Time taken for a to absorb 1.8 eV is simply 1.8 x A Noble-
Noble-prize winning theory
1.6 x 10-19 J / = 5000 s = 1.4 h!!! To explain PE, Einstein postulates that the radiant
energy of light is quantized into concentrated
In PE, the photoelectrons are ejected almost bundle. The discrete entity that carries the energy
immediately but not 1.4 hour later of the radiant energy is called photon
This shows that the wave model used to calculate Or, in quantum physics jargon, we say photon is
the time lag in this example fails to account for the the quantum of light
almost instantaneous ejection of photoelectron in Wave behaviour of light is a result of collective
the PE experiment behaviour of very large numbers of photons

19 20

Wave and particle carries energy
Photon is granular
The way how photon carries energy is in
contrast to the way wave carries energy.
For wave the radiant energy is continuously
distributed over a region in space and not in
Flux of radiant separate bundles
energy appears
like a continuum (always recall the analogy of water in a hose
at macroscopic Granularity of light (in
scale of intensity
and a stream of ping pong ball to help
terms of photon)
becomes manifest when visualization)
21 22

A beam of light if pictured as monochromatic wave (, )

Einsteins 1st postulate

1. The energy of a single photon is E = h. h is a

E0 proportional constant, called the Planck constant, that is
Energy flux of the beam is S= (in unit
2 0c to be determined experimentally.
of joule per unit time per unit area),
analogous to fluid in a host With this assumption, a photon will have a momentum
given by p = E/c = h/.
A beam of light pictured in terms of photons
L = ct A This relation is obtained from SR relationship
E2 = p2c2 + (m0c2)2, for which the mass of a photon is
E=h zero.
Note that in classical physics momentum is intrinsically
Energy flux of the beam is S = N (h) /At = n0 ch (in unit of joule a particle attribute not defined for wave.
per unit time per unit area). N is obtained by counting the total By picturing light as particle (photon), the definition of
number of photons in the beam volume, N = n0V = n0 x (A ct), momentum for radiation now becomes feasible
where n0 is the photon number density of the radiation (in unit of
23 24
number per unit volume)

Light as photon (in Einstein theory)
instead of wave (in Classical EM (a) What are the energy and momentum of a photon of red
theory) light of wavelength 650nm?

(b) What is the wavelength of a photon of energy 2.40 eV?

In atomic scale we usually express energy in eV, momentum

in unit of eV/c, length in nm; the combination of constants, hc,
is conveniently expressed in

1 eV = 1.6x10-19 J

hc = (6.62x10-34 Js)(3x108 m/s)

= [6.62x10-34 (1.6x10-19)-1eVs](3x108 m/s)
= 1.24eV10-6m = 1240eVnm
p=h/, E=h=hc/
{,} 1 eV/c = (1.6x10-19)J/ (3x108 m/s) = 5.3x10-28 Ns
25 26

solution Einsteins 2nd postulate

In PE one photon is completely absorbed by one atom in
the photocathode.
(a) E = hc/ Upon the absorption, one electron is kicked out by the
absorbent atom.
= 1240 eVnm /650 nm The kinetic energy for the ejected electron is
= 1.91 eV (= 3.110-19J) K = h - W
W is the work required to:-
p = E/c = 1.91 eV/c (= 1x10-27 Ns) (i) cater for losses of kinetic energy due to internal collision
of the electrons (Wi),
(b) = hc/E (ii) overcome the attraction from the atoms in the surface
= 1240eVnm /2.40 eV (W0)
When no internal kinetic energy loss (happens to electrons
= 517 nm just below the surface which suffers minimal loss in
internal collisions), K is maximum:
Kmax = h - W0 28

In general, Einstein theory manage to solve the
K = h W, where three unexplained features:
W = W0 + Wi
First feature:
KE = h Wi W0
In Einsteins theory of PE, Kmax = h - W0
W0 Both h and W0 do not depend on the radiation
W0 = work
KE loss = W0
required to Hence Kmax is independent of irradiation intensity
overcome Doubling the intensity of light will not change
KE loss = Wi
attraction from
Kmax because only depend on the energy h of
surface atoms
individual photons and W0
W0 is the intrinsic property of a given metal
KE = h - Wi
KE = h
29 30

Cut-off frequency is related to work

Second feature explained
function of metal surface W0 = h0
The cut-off frequency is explained A photon having the cut-off frequency 0 has just
enough energy to eject the photoelectron and none
extra to appear as kinetic energy.
Recall that in Einstein assumption, a photon is Photon of energy less than h0 has not sufficient
completely absorbed by one atom to kick out one energy to kick out any electron
electron. Approximately, electrons that are eject at the cut-off
Hence each absorption of photon by the atom transfers frequency will not leave the surface.
a discrete amount of energy by h only. This amount to saying that the have got zero kinetic
If h is not enough to provide sufficient energy to energy: Kmax = 0
overcome the required work function, W0, no Hence, from Kmax = h - W0, we find that the cut-off
photoelectrons would be ejected from the metal frequency and the work function is simply related by
surface and be detected as photocurrent W0 = h0
Measurement of the cut-off frequency tell us what the32
work function is for a given metal

Third feature explained
W0 = h0
The required energy to eject photoelectrons is
supplied in concentrated bundles of photons, not
spread uniformly over a large area in the wave
Any photon absorbed by the atoms in the target
shall eject photoelectron immediately.
Absorption of photon is a discrete process at
quantum time scale (almost instantaneously
instantaneously): it
either got absorbed by the atoms, or otherwise.
Hence no time lag is expected in this picture
33 34

A simple way to picture photoelectricity in terms of particle-

particle collision:
Compare the particle-particle
Energy of photon is transferred during the instantaneous
collision with the electron. The electron will either get kicked collision model with the water-
up against the barrier threshold of W0 almost instantaneously,
or fall back to the bottom of the valley if h is less than W0 filling-tank model:
Initial photon
with energy h
spills out
Almost K = h W0 from the tank
instantaneously when the
h water is filled
up gradually
Water (light wave) after some
W0 from the pipe fills up time lag
Photoelectron that is the tank at some
Electron within the successfully kicked out from constant rate
metal, initially at rest the metal, moving with 35K 36

Experimental determination of In experiment, we can measure the slope in the graph of Vs
Planck constant from PE verses frequency for different metal surfaces. It gives a
universal value of h/e = 4.1x10-15 Vs. Hence, h = 6.626 x 10-34 Js
Experiment can measure eVs (= Kmax) for a
Vs = (h/e) -0
given metallic surface (e.g. sodium) at
different frequency of impinging radiation
We know that the work function and the
stopping potential of a given metal is given
eVs = h - W0

Different metal
surfaces have
different 0
37 38

PYQ 2.16, Final Exam 2003/04 PYQ 4(a,b) Final Exam 2003/04
(a) Lithium, beryllium and mercury have work
Planck constant functions of 2.9 eV, 3.9 eV and 4.5 eV,
(i) is a universal constant respectively. If a 400-nm light is incident on
(ii) is the same for all metals each of these metals, determine
(iii) is different for different metals (i) which metals exhibit the photoelectric
(iv) characterises the quantum scale effect, and
A. I,IV B. I,II, IV C. I, III,IV (ii) the maximum kinetic energy for the
photoelectron in each case (in eV)
ANS: B, Machlup,
Machlup, Review question 8, pg.
496, modified
39 40

Solution for Q3a PYQ 4(a,b) Final Exam 2003/04
The energy of a 400 nm photon is E = hc/ = (b). Molybdenum has a work function of 4.2 eV.
3.11 eV (i). Find the cut-off wavelength (in nm)
The effect will occur only in lithium* and threshold frequency for the
Q3a(ii) photoelectric effect.
For lithium, Kmax = h W0 (ii). Calculate the stopping potential if the
= 3.11 eV 2.90 eV incident radiation has a wavelength of 180
= 0.21 eV nm.
*marks are deducted for calculating Kmax for
beryllium and mercury which is meaningless

41 42

Solution for Q4b Example (read it yourself)

Known hcutoff = W0 Light of wavelength 400
Cut-off wavelength = cutoff = c/cutoff
Cut- nm is incident upon lithium
(W0 = 2.9 eV).
eV). Calculate
= hc/
hc/W0 = 1240 nm eV / 4.2 eV = 295 nm (a) the photon energy and
Cut-off frequency (or threshold frequency), cutoff
Cut- (b) the stopping potential,
= c / cutoff = 1.01 x 1015 Hz
(c) What frequency of light
Q3b(ii) is needed to produce
(hc// W0) / e = (1240
electrons of kinetic energy
Stopping potential Vstop = (hc 3 eV from illumination of
nmeV/180 nm 4.2 eV)/e
nm eV)/e = 2. 7 V lithium?

43 44

Solution: PYQ, 1.12 KSCP 2003/04
Which of the following statement(s)
statement(s) is (are) true?
(a) E= h = hc/ = 1240eVnm/400 nm = 3.1 eV I The energy of the quantum of light is proportional to the
(b) The stopping potentiale (eVs) = Max Kinetic frequency of the wave model of light
energy of the photon II In photoelectricity,
photoelectricity, the photoelectrons has as much
=> eVs = Kmax = h - W0 = (3.1 - 2.9) eV energy as the quantum of light which causes it to be ejected
Hence, Vs = 0.2 V III In photoelectricity,
photoelectricity, no time delay in the emission of
i.e. a retarding potential of 0.2 V will stop all photoelectrons would be expected in the quantum theory
photoelectrons A. II, III B. I, III C. I, II, III D. I
(c) h = Kmax + W0 = 3 eV + 2.9 eV = 5.9 eV. ONLY
Hence the frequency of the photon is E. Non of the above
= 5.9 x (1.6 x 10-19 J) / 6.63 x 10-34 Js Ans:
Ans: B
= 1.42 x1015 Hz Murugeshan,
Murugeshan, S. Chand & Company, New Delhi, pg. 136,
Q28 (for I), Q29, Q30 (for II,III)
45 46

Compton effect
Another experiment revealing the particle
To summerise: In nature of X-ray (radiation, with
wavelength ~ 10-10 m)
photoelectricity (PE), light Compton, Arthur Holly (1892-1962),
behaves like particle rather American physicist and Nobel laureate
whose studies of X rays led to his discovery
than like wave. in 1922 of the so-called Compton effect.
The Compton effect is the change in
wavelength of high energy electromagnetic
radiation when it scatters off electrons. The
discovery of the Compton effect confirmed
that electromagnetic radiation has both
wave and particle properties, a central
principle of quantum theory.

47 48

Experimental data
Comptons experimental setup
= 45
A beam of x rays of =0
wavelength 71.1 pm is Although initially the
directed onto a carbon target incident beam consists of
The x rays scattered from only a single well-defined
the target are observed at wavelength ( ) the
various angle to the = 90 = 135
direction of the incident scattered x-rays at a given
beam. angle have intensity
The detector measures both peaks at two wavelength
the intensity of the scattered
x rays and their wavelength ( in addition), where >

49 50

Compton shouldnt shift, according Modelling Compton shift as

to classical wave theory of light particle-particle collision
Unexplained by classical wave theory for Compton (and independently by Debye)
radiation explains this in terms of collision between
collections of (particle-like) photon, each
No shift of wavelength is predicted in
with energy E = h = pc, with the free
wave theory of light electrons in the target graphite (imagine
billard balls collision)

51 52

Photographic picture of a Compton Two particle collision in 2D
Scattered photon,
electron E=hc/,
Initial photon, p=h/
Part of a bubble chamber Initial electron, y
picture (Fermilab'15 foot E=hc/, at rest,
Bubble Chamber', found p=h/ Eei=mec2,
at the University of pei=0
Birmingham). An
electron was knocked out x
of an atom by a high
energy photon.
Photon is not shown as the 1: Conservation of E:
photographic plate only
cp + mec2 = cp + Ee
captures the track of Scattered
charged particle, not light. electron, Ee,pe
2: Conservation of momentum:p
53 54
= p + pe (vector sum)

Some algebra
Conservation of momentum in 2-D Mom conservation in y : psin = pesin
p = p + pe (vector sum) actually comprised of
two equation for both conservation of Mom conservation in x : p - p cos = pecos
momentum in x- and y- directions (PX)

Conservation of total relativistic energy:

Conservation cp + mec2 = cp + Ee
of in y- (RE)
(PY)2 + (PX)2, substitute into (RE)2 to eliminate , pe
psin = pesin
and Ee (and using Ee2 = c2pe2 + me2c4 ):
p = pcos + pecos
55 - = (h/mec)(1 cos ) 56
Conservation of in x-direction

X-ray scattering from an electron
Compton wavelength
(Compton scattering): classical
e = h/mec = 0.0243 Angstrom, is the Compton
wavelength (for electron) versus quantum picture
Note that the wavelength of the x-ray used in the
scattering is of the similar length scale to the Compton
wavelength of electron

The Compton scattering experiment can now be

perfectly explained by the Compton shift relationship
= e(1 - cos)
as a function of the photon scattered angle
Be reminded that the relationship is derived by assuming
light behave like particle (photon)

57 58

= (h/mec)(1 - cos) For 1800 head-on collision

Notice that depend on only,
not on the incident wavelength, ..
=> = max
Consider some limiting 1800 photon being reversed in direction
behaviour of the Compton shift:
max =max =(h/mec)(1 cos 180)
= 2e =2( 0.00243nm)
For = 00 grazing
collision => = 0
=0.1795 nm

After collision
59 max = + max 60

PYQ 2.2 Final Exam 2003/04 Solution
First calculate the wavelength of a 0.2 MeV photon:
Suppose that a beam of 0.2-MeV photon is E = hc/= 1240 eVnm/ = 0.2 MeV
scattered by the electrons in a carbon target. What is =1240 nm / 0.2 x 106 = 0.062 nm
the wavelength of those photon scattered through an
angle of 90o? From Compton scattering formula, the shift is
A. 0.00620 nm = = e (1 cos 90 ) = e
B. 0.00863 nm Hence, the final wavelength is simply
C. 0.01106 nm = + = e + = 0.00243nm + 0.062 nm = 0.00863
D. 0.00243 nm
E. Non of the above
ANS: B, Schaums 3000 solved problems, Q38.31,
61 pg. 712 62

Example solution
= + e (1 - cos )
X-rays of wavelength 0.2400 nm are Compton = 0.2400nm+0.00243nm(1cos60o)
scattered and the scattered beam is observed at
an angle of 60 degree relative to the incident = 0.2412 nm
Find (a) the wave length of the scattered x- = hc/
rays, (b) the energy of the scattered x-ray
photons, (c) the kinetic energy of the scattered = 1240 eVnm /0.2412 nm
electrons, and (d) the direction of travel of the = 5141 eV
scattered electrons

63 64

p p p p
E < E E < E
Initial me Initial me
E photon
K pe K pe
kinetic energy gained by the scattered electron
By conservation of momentum in the x- and y-direction:
= energy transferred by the incident photon during the
scattering: p= p cos + pe cos; p sin = pe sin ;
K = hc/ - hc/=(51675141)eV = 26 eV tan = pe sin / pe cos = (p sin)/ (p - p cos)
=(E sin)/ (E - E cos)
= (5141 sin 600 / [51675141 (cos 600] = 0.43 = 1.71
Note that we ignore SR effect here because K << rest mass of electron, me = 0.5
MeV Hence, = 59.7 degree

65 66

PYQ 3(c), Final exam 2003/04 Solution

The energy of the incoming photon is
Ei = hc/ = 0.775 MeV
(c) A 0.0016-nm photon scatters from a free Since the outgoing photon and the electron each have
electron. For what scattering angle of the half of this energy in kinetic form,
photon do the recoiling electron and the Ef = hc/ = 0.775 MeV / 2 = 0.388 MeV and
scattered photon have the same kinetic = hc/Ef = 1240 eV nm / 0.388 MeV = 0.0032 nm
energy? The Compton shift is
= - = (0.0032 0.0016) nm = 0.0016 nm
Serway solution manual 2, Q35, pg. 358
By = c (1 cos )
= (h/mec) (1 cos ) 0.0016 nm
= 0.00243 nm (1 cos )
= 70o 68

PYQ 1.10 KSCP 2003/04
Which of the following statements is (are) true?
The inverse of photoelectricity
I. Photoelectric effect arises due to the absorption of X-ray, discovered by
electrons by photons Wilhelm Konrad
II. Compton effect arises due to the scattering of Roentgen (1845-1923).
photons by free electrons
III. In the photoelectric effect, only part of the energy of He won the first Nobel
the incident photon is lost in the process prize in 1902. He refused
IV.Inn the Compton effect, the photon completely to benefit financially
disappears and all of its energy is given to the Compton from his work and died
A. I,II B. II,III,IV C. I, II, III in poverty in the German
D. III,IV Ans:
Ans : E inflation that followed
[I = false; II = true; III = false; IV = false] the end of World War 1.
Murugeshan, S. Chand & Company, New Delhi, pg. 134,
Q13, 69 70

X-rays are simply EM radiation with In photoelectricity,

photoelectricity, energy is transferred
from photons to kinetic energy of
very short wavelength, electrons. The inverse of this process
~ 0.01 nm 10 nm produces x-
P.E: x-ray:
Some properties:
electron (Ke=0) + photon (hc/) electron (Ke)
hc/ 0.1 100 keV
energetic, according to E = hc/
electron (Ke) + W0 heat + photon (hc/)
(c.f. E ~ a few eV for visible light)
Ke = 0
travels in straight lines
is unaffected by electric and magnetic fields
(E = hc/) W0 0 compared
passes readily through opaque materials highly to Ke, hence
penetrative ignored
causes phosphorescent substances to glow e
exposes photographic plates (Ee = K) (Ee = Ke >> W0)
71 72

PE and x-rays production happen at
X-ray production
different energy scale X-rays is produced
when electrons,
However, both process occur at disparately accelerated by an
electric field in a E
different energy scale vacuum cathode-
Roughly, for PE, it occurs at eV scale with tube, are impacted on
the glass end of the
ultraviolet radiation tube
For x-ray production, the energy scale e
involved is much higher - at the order of Part or all of the kinetic
energy of a moving Ke
100 eV - 100 keV electron is converted
into a x-
x-ray photon
73 74

Typical x-ray spectrum from the x-

The x-ray tube
ray tube

A cathode (the `pole

`pole that emits negative charge) is heated by means
of electric current to produce thermionic emission of the electrons
electrons min
from the target
A high potential difference V is maintained between the cathode and
a metallic target
The thermionic electrons will get accelerated toward the latter
The higher the accelerating potential V, the faster the electron and
the shorter the wavelengths of the x-x-rays 75 76

min 1/V, the same for all material
Important features of the x-ray
At a particular V, min is
1. The spectrum is continuous approximately the same
2. The existence of a minimum wavelength for different target
min for a given V, below which no x- materials.
ray is observed Experimentally one finds
3. Increasing V decreases min . that min is inversely
proportional to V,

1.24 10 6
min = m V
The peaks in the spectrum are due to the electronic transition occurring
between the adjacent shells (orbit) in the atom. We would not discuss them
further here.

Classical explanation of continuous x-

X-ray production heats up the target
ray spectrum:
material The continuous X- X-ray spectrum is explained in terms of
Bremsstrahlung: radiation emitted when a moving electron
Due to conversion of energy from the tekan brake
impacting electrons to x-ray photons is not According to classical EM theory, an accelerating or decelerating
efficient, the difference between input electric charge will radiate EM radiation
energy, Ke and the output x-ray energy E Electrons striking the target get slowed down and brought to
eventual rest because of collisions with the atoms of the target
becomes heat material
Hence the target materials have to be made Within the target, many electrons collides with many atoms for
from metal that can stand heat and must many times before they are brought to rest
have high melting point (such as Tungsten Each collision causes some non-
non-unique losses to the kinetic energy
of the Bremsstrahlung electron
and Molybdenum) As a net effect of the collective behavior by many individual
collisions, the radiation emitted (a result due to the lost of KE
KE of
79 80
the electron) forms a continuous spectrum

Bremsstrahlung Bremsstrahlung, simulation

E = K - K

Target atom

K < K

Bremsstrahlung cannot explain Energy of the x-ray photon in the

min quantum picture
Notice that in the classical Bremsstrahlung According to Einstein assumption on the energy of a
process the x-
x-ray radiated is continuous and photon, the energy of the photon emitted in the
Bremsstrahlung is simply the difference between the
there is no lower limit on the value of the initial and final kinetic energy of the electron:
wavelength emitted (because
(because classical h = K K
physics does not relate energy with The shortest wavelength of the emitted photon gains
wavelength). Hence, the existence of min is
wavelength). its energy, E = hmax = hc/
hc/min corresponds to the
not explained with the classical maximal loss of the K.E. of an electron in a single
Bremsstrahlung mechanism. All range of collision (happen when K = 0 in a single collision)
from 0 to a maximum should be possible in This (i.e.
(i.e. the maximal lose on KE) only happens to a
small sample of collisions. Most of the other
this classical picture. collisions loss their KE gradually in smaller amount
min can only be explained by assuming light in an almost continuous manner.
as photons but not as EM wave 83 84

Theoretical explanation of the Why is min the same for different
experimental Value of min material?
The production of the x-x-ray can be considered as an inverse
K (of the Bremsstrahlung electron) is converted into the process of PE
photon with E = hc/ Hence, to be more rigorous, the conservation of energy should taketake
Experimentally K is caused by the external potential V that into account the effects due to the work potential of the target
material during the emission of x-x-ray process, W0
accelerates the electron before it bombards with the target,
hence However, so far we have ignored the effect of W0 when we were
calculating the relationship between min and K
K = eV
This approximation is justified because of the following reason:
Conservation of energy requires The accelerating potentials that is used to produce x-
x-ray in a x-
K = eV = hc/ vacuum tube, V, is in the range of 10,000 V
or, min = hc/ nmeV)
hc/eV = (1240 nm eV)/eV = (1240V/V
(1240V/V) nm Whereas the work function W0 is only of a few eV
which is the value measured in x-
x-ray experiments Hence, in comparison, W0 is ignored wrp to eV
This explains why min is the same for different target materials
85 86

Example PYQ 1. 9 Final Exam 2003/04

Find the shortest wavelength present in the To produce an x- x-ray quantum energy of 10-15 J
electrons must be accelerated through a potential
radiation from an x-ray machine whose difference of about
accelerating potential is 50,000 V Solution:
A. 4 kV The energy of the x-rays photon comes from the
Solution: 6 B. 6 kV external accelerating potential,V
hc 1.24 10 V m
min = = = 2.48 10 11 m = 0.0248nm C. 8 kV E = eV
eV 5.00 10 4 V D. 9 kV 1 1015
This wavelength corresponds to the frequency V = E / e = 1 1015 J/e= 19
eV/e = 6250V
E. 10 kV 1.6 10
max = = = 1.211019 Hz GCE PHYSICS B (PDF), Q10, pg. 36
min 11
2.48 10 m 87 88

PYQ 1.9 KSCP 2003/04 X-ray diffraction
Which of the following statement(s)
statement(s) is (are) true?
I. -rays have much shorter wavelength than x-rays X-ray wavelengths can be determined through
II. The wavelength of x-rays in a x-ray tube can be diffraction in which the x-x-ray is diffracted by the
controlled by varying the accelerating potential crystal planes that are of the order of the
III. x-
x-rays are electromagnetic waves wavelength of the x- x-ray, ~ 0.1 nm
IV. x-rays show diffraction pattern when passing
through crystals
The diffraction of x-x-ray by crystal lattice is called
Braggs diffraction
D. III.IV E. Non of the above It is also used to study crystal lattice structure (by
Ans: B Murugeshan,
Murugeshan, S. Chand & Company, New Delhi, analysing the diffraction pattern)
pg. 132, Q1.(for I), pg. 132, Q3 (for II), pg. 132, Q4 (for
89 90

Use atoms in a crystal lattice to

Condition for diffraction
diffract X-rays
Note that as a general Since wavelength of x-rays is very small,
rule in wave optics, what kind of scatterer has sufficiently tiny
diffraction effect is separation to produce diffraction for x-rays?
prominent only when
the wavelength and the ANS: Atoms in a crystal lattice. Only the
hole/obstacle are atomic separation in a crystal lattice is small
comparable in their enough (~ nm) to diffract X-rays which are
length scale of the similar order of length scale.

91 92

Experimental setup of Braggs Experimental setup of Braggs
diffraction diffraction

93 94

X-ray diffraction pattern from

Braggs law for x-rays diffraction

Adjacent parallel
crystal planes

Constructive interference takes place only between those scattered

rays that are parallel and whose paths differ by exactly , 2, 3 and
The bright spots correspond to the directions where x-rays so on (beam I, II):
(full ranges of wavelengths) scattered from various layers
(different Braggs planes) in the crystal interfere constructively. 2d sin = n, n = 1, 2, 3 Braggs law for x-ray diffraction 96

An X-rays can be reflected from
many different crystal planes
A single crystal of table salt (NaCl) is
irradiated with a beam of x-rays of
unknown wavelength. The first Braggs
reflection is observed at an angle of 26.3
degree. Given that the spacing between
the interatomic planes in the NaCl crystal
to be 0.282 nm, what is the wavelength of
the x-ray?

97 98

If powder specimen is used (instead

of single crystal)
Solving Braggs law for the n = 1 order, We get diffraction ring
due to the large
= 2d sin = 2 0.282 nm sin (26.3o) randomness in the
= 0.25 nm inteference of n=1 orientation of the
order: planes of scattering in
the power specimen
2dsin =


99 100

Why ring for powdered sample? X-rays finger print of crystals

101 102

PYQ 6 Test I, 2003/04

X-ray of wavelength 1.2 Angstrom strikes a

crystal of d-spacing 4.4 Angstrom. Where does
the diffraction angle of the second order occur?
A.16 B. 33 C.55
D. 90 E. Non of the above
Solution: n = 2d sin
sin = n/2d = 2 x 1.2 / (2 x 4.4) = 0. 5
= 33
ANS: B, Schaums 3000 solved problems,
Q38.46, pg. 715
103 104

Pictorial visualisation of pair
Pair Production: Energy into matter
In photoelectric effect, a photon gives an electron all of
its energy. In Compton effect, a photon give parts of its In the process of pair production, a photon of
energy to an electron sufficient energy is converted into electron-
A photon can also materialize into an electron and a pair. The conversion process must occur only in the
positron presence of some external EM field (such as near the
vicinity of a nucleus)
Positron = anti-
anti-electron, positively charged electron
with the exactly same physical characteristics as
electron except opposite in charge and spin
In this process, called pair production, electromagnetic
energy is converted into matter
Creation of something (electron-
(electron-positron pair) out of
nothing (pure EM energy) triggered by strong external
EM field
105 106

Conservational laws in pair-

The pair-
pair-production must not violate some very
fundamental laws in physics:
An electron (blue) enters the laser beam from the Charge conservation, total linear momentum, total
left, and collides with a laser photon to produce a
high-energy gamma ray (wiggly yellow line). The relativistic energy are to be obeyed in the process
electron is deflected downwards. The gamma ray Due to kinematical consideration (energy and
then collides with four or more laser photons to
produce an electron-positron pair linear momentum conservations) pair production
cannot occur in empty space
Must occur in the proximity of a nucleus
Will see this in an example

107 108

Energy threshold Example

Due to conservation of relativistic energy, pair What is the maximal wavelength of a EM

production can only occur if E is larger than 2 radiation to pair-
pair-produce an electron-
me = 2 0.51 MeV = 1.02 MeV pair?
Any additional photon energy becomes kinetic Solutions: minimal photon energy occurs if the
energy of the electron and positron, K pair have no kinetic energy after being created,
E = = 2 me c 2 + K K = 0. Hence,
PP hc 1240 nm eV
min = = = 1.21 10 12 m
2 me c 2
2 0.51MeV
These are very energetic EM radiation called gamma
nucleus rays and are found in nature as one of the emissions
109 110
from radioactive nuclei and in cosmic rays.

Pair Production cannot occur in empty

Electron-positron creation space
Conservation of energy must me fulfilled, hf = 2mc
Conservation of linear momentum must be fulfilled:
Part of a bubble chamber
picture (Fermilab'15 foot p
Bubble Chamber', found
at the University of E=hf e+

Birmingham). The curly
line which turns to the
2p cos
p=hf /c = 2p
left is an electron. Since p = mv for electron and positron,
Positron looks similar but hf = 2c mv) cos = 2mc
2c(mv) 2mc2 (v/c) cos
turn to the right The Because v/c < 1 and cos 1, hf < 2mc
magnetic field is
perpendicular to the
2mc2. Hence it is
But conservation of energy requires hf = 2mc
picture plan impossible for pair production to conserve both energy and
momentum unless some other object (such as a nucleus) in
involved in the process to carry away part of the initial of the
photon momentum 112

Pair-annihilation Pair annihilation
The inverse of pair production occurs when a
positron is near an electron and the two come Part of a bubble-
together under the influence of their opposite picture from a neutrino
electric charges experiment performed at
the Fermilab (found at the
e+ + e- + University of
Birmingham). A positron
Both particles vanish simultaneously, with the lost in flight annihilate with an
masses becoming energies in the form of two electron. The photon that
is produced materializes at
gamma-ray photons a certain distance, along
Positron and electron annihilate because they are the line of flight, resulting
a new electron-
anti particles to each other pair (marked with green)

113 114

Energy and linear momentum are always

Initial energy = 2mec2 +K conserved in pair annihilation
The total relativistic energy of the e--e+ pair is
E = 2m2mec2 + K = 1.02 MeV + K
where K the total kinetic energy of the electron-
electron-positron pair before annihilation
Each resultant gamma ray photon has an energy
hf = 0.51 MeV + K/2
Both energy and linear momentum are automatically conserved in pair pair
annihilation (else it wont occur at all)
Final energy = hc/1 + hc/2 For e--e+ pair annihilation in which each particle collide in a head-
head-on manner with
same magnitude of momentum, i.e., p+ = - p- , the gamma photons are always
emitted in a back-
to-back manner due to kinematical reasons (conservation of
linear momentum). (see explanation below and figure next page)
In such a momentum-
momentum-symmetric collision, the sum of momentum of the system is
zero. Hence, after the photon pair is created, the sum their momentum
momentum must also
Conservation of relativistic energy: be zero. Such kinematical reason demands that the photon pair be emitted back-back-
2mec2 + K = hc/1 + hc/2 No nucleus or other particle is needed for pair annihilation to take place
Pair annihilation always occurs whenever a matter comes into contact
contact with its
115 116

Collision of e+-e- pair in a center of
As a tool to observe anti-world
momentum (CM) frame
What is the characteristic energy of a gamma-
p that is produced in a pair-
pair-annihilation production
G G process? What is its wavelength?
p p+
G MeV, annih = hc / 0.51 MeV =
Answer: 0.51 MeV,
p Back-to-back photon
p+ = - p-
pair 0.0243 nm
G G The detection of such characteristic gamma ray in
Sum of momentum before annihilation = p +p
G+ G astrophysics indicates the annihilation of matter-
= Sum of momentum after annihilation = p p
antimatter in deep space
= 0

117 118

PYQ 4, Test I, 2003/04 Solution

An electron and a positron collide and Total energy before and after anniliation
undergo pair-annihilation. If each particle is must remain the same: i.e. the energy of each
moving at a speed of 0.8c relative to the electron is converted into the energy of each photon.
laboratory before the collision, determine the Hence the energy of each photon is simple equal
energy of each of the resultant photon. to the total relativistic energy of each electron
A. 0.85MeV B. 1.67 MeV travelling at 0.8c :
E = Ee = me c 2
C. 0.51 MeV D. 0.72MeV
where = 1/ 1 ( 0.8 ) = 1.678
E. Non of the above
Hence E = 1.678 0.51 MeV = 0.85 MeV

119 ANS: A, Cutnell,

Cutnell, Q17, pg. 878, modified 120

Photon absorption
Three chief channels photons interact with matter are:
Photoelectric effect, Compton scattering effect and Pair-
In all of these process, photon energy is transferred to electrons
which in turn lose energy to atoms in the absorbing material

121 122

Relative probabilities of photon

Photon absorption
absorption channels
The probability (cross section) of a photon undergoes a given For a fixed atomic number (say Carbon, A = 12)
channel of interaction with matter depends on At low energy photoelectric effect dominates. It diminishes fast when E
approaches tens of keV
(1) Photon energy, and
At E = a few tens of keV,
keV, Compton scattering start to take over
(2) Atomic number of the absorbing material 2mec2 = 1.02 MeV,
Once E exceeds the threshold of 2m MeV, pair production becomes
more likely. Compton scattering diminishes as energy increases from
from 1 MeV.

123 124

Relative probabilities between Relative probabilities between

different absorbers different

Compare with Lead absorber (much
different absorbers different
higher A: ): The energy at which pair
Photoelectric effect remains dominant production takes over as the
up to a higher energy of a few
hundreds of keV (c.f. Carbon of a few principle mechanism of energy
tens of keV) loss is called the crossover
This is because the heavier the nucleus energy
the better it is in absorbing the
momentum transfer that occurs when The crossover energy is 10
the energetic photon imparts its MeV for Carbon, 4 for Lead
momentum to the atom The greater atomic number,
Compton scattering starts to appears the lower the crossover energy
after a much higher energy of 1 MeV
(c.f. a few tens of keV for Carbon). This is because nuclear with
This is because a larger atomic number larger atomic number has
binds an electron stronger, rendering stronger electric field that is
the electron less free. In this case, to
Compton scatter off an free electron necessary to trigger pair-
the photon has to be more energetic creation
The relative probabilities of the photoelectric effect,
(recall that in Compton scattering, only Compton scattering, and pair production as
free electrons are scattered by photon). 125and
functions of energy in carbon (a light element) 126
lead (a heavy element).

What is a photon? Contradictory nature of light

In Photoelectric effect, Compton scatterings,
Like an EM wave, photons move with speed of inverse photoelectric effect, pair
light c creation/annihilation, light behaves as
They have zero mass and rest energy particle. The energy of the EM radiation is
The carry energy and momentum, which are
related to the frequency and wavelength of the EM confined to localised bundles
wave by E=hf and p = h/ In Youngs Double slit interference,
They can be created or destroyed when radiation is diffraction, Braggs diffraction of X-ray,
emitted or absorbed light behave as waves. In the wave picture
They can have particle-
particle-like collisions with other of EM radiation, the energy of wave is
particles such as electrons
spread smoothly and continuously over the
127 128

Is light particle? Or is it wave?

Both the wave and particle explanations of

EM radiation are obviously mutually
So how could we reconcile these seemingly
contradictory characteristics of light?
The way out to the conundrum:

129 130

Gedanken experiment with remote So, (asking for the second time) is

light source
The same remote light source is used to simultaneously go through two
light wave of particle?
experimental set up separated at a huge distance of say 100 M light years
So, it is not either particle or wave but both
In the left experiment, the EM radiation behaves as wave; the right one
behave like particle particles and waves
This is weird: the light source from 100 M light years away seems to However, both typed of nature cannot be
know in which direction to aim the waves and in which direction to aim
the particles simultaneously measured in a single experiment
Light source is 100 M light years away
from the detection sites
The light only shows one or the other aspect,
depending on the kind of experiment we are doing
Double slit Photoelectric
experiment experiment
Particle experiments show the particle nature,
while a wave-
wave-type experiment shows the wave
Interference pattern
observed Photoelectron observed

131 132

The identity of photon depends on Coin a simile of wave-particle
how the experimenter decide to look duality
at it It
Its like a coin with two
faces. One can only sees one
side of the coin but not the
other at any instance
This is the so-
so-called wave-
photon as
particle duality particle
Neither the wave nor the
particle picture is wholly
correct all of the time, that
both are needed for a Photon as
complete description pf wave
Is this a rabbit or a duck? physical phenomena
The face of a young or an old woman?
The two are complementary
133 to another 134

Interference experiment with a Interference experiment with a

single photon (1) single photon (2)
In between (e.g. between emission and detection), we
Consider an double slit experiment using an must interpret the light as electromagnetic energy
extremely weak source (say, a black body filament) that propagates smoothly and continuously as a wave
that emits only one photon a time through the double However, the wave nature between the emission and
slit and then detected on a photographic plate by detection is not directly detected. Only the particle
darkening individual grains. nature are detected in this procedure.
When one follows the time evolution of the pattern The correct explanation of the origin and appearance
created by these individual photons, interference of the interference pattern comes from the wave
pattern is observed picture, and the correct interpretation of the evolution
of the pattern on the screen comes from the particle
At the source the light is being emitted as photon picture;
(radiated from a dark body) and is experimentally Hence to completely explain the experiment, the two
detected as a photon which is absorbed by an pictures must somehow be taken together this is an
individual atom on the photographic plate to form a example for which both pictures are complimentary
grain. to each other
135 136

Both light and material particle
display wave-particle duality
Not only light manifest such wave-
wave-particle duality,
but other microscopic material particles (e.g.
electrons, atoms, muons,
muons, pions well).
In other words:
Light, as initially thought to be wave, turns out to
have particle nature;
Material particles, which are initially thought to be
corpuscular, also turns out to have wave nature
(next topic)

137 138