AP Physics – Nuclear Physics

Nuclear physics takes in a lot of territory and the range of things it effects is enormous – from
saving the lives of cancer victims to its use in weapons of mass destruction. There’s a lot to love
and hate in the nuke world.

Now another thing. This handout is like really thick and has lots of good stuff in it. Much of it you
do not need to know for the AP Physics test. So why is the Physics Kahuna wasting your valuable
time with this extraneous stuff? Well, because if only the stuff you needed to know was in here,
then nuclear physics would not be complete, wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense, and would be
pretty confusing. Plus you would be shortchanged in a big-time way. The Physics Kahuna,
because of his enormous respect for the Advanced Placement Student, refuses to do this to you. So,
throughout, the document, the Physics Kahuna will make a notation on the stuff you need to know
and also point out the stuff that you do not need to know. Is that fair or what?

Review of Atomic Theory Basics: (Here’s important stuff you need to know.) Let’s do
a quick review about atoms. Nuclear physics deals with atoms, right? Anyway, the basic idea is
that ordinary matter is made up of collections of atoms. There are around 90 different kinds of
atoms that can be found on our beloved planet. Each of the different types is called an element.
Elements are substances that cannot be broken down into other substances. So far this is nothing
more than a basic chemistry review, ain’t it? Well, it does get better. Wait and see.

Each atom has a nucleus, which contains most of its mass. In this nucleus are the nucleons – the
protons and neutrons (which you no doubt fondly remember from your electrical studies).
Surrounding the nucleus is the electron cloud – this is where the electrons go about their
enormously busy little electron thing. There is one electron for every proton in an atom. When the
501

number of electrons and protons is different, you don’t have an atom anymore, you have gots you
one of them ions. Remember them? Anyway, just what the electrons are doing in an atom is pretty
complicated – we’ll deal with them later when we get to quantum mechanics.

The atomic number is the number of protons in an atom. This information can be easily found
from the periodic table (you will, no doubt, recall that elements are organized by atomic number in
the periodic table). A periodic table is included at the end of this section of the text. You also have
one available in your CCHS planner.

Z is the symbol for the atomic number.

 In 1993, Binney & Smith introduced sixteen more colors, all named by
consumers: Asparagus, Cerise, Denim, Granny Smith Apple, Macaroni and
Cheese, Mauvelous, Pacific Blue, Purple Mountain's Majesty, Razzmatazz,
Robin's Egg Blue, Shamrock, Tickle Me Pink, Timber Wolf, Tropical Rain
Forest, Tumbleweed, and Wisteria.
 Washington Irving used the pseudonym Geoffrey Crayon when he
published The Sketch-Book, a collection of short stories and essays,
including The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle.
 On average, children between the ages of two and seven color 28 minutes
every day.
 The average child in the United States will wear down 730 crayons by his
or her tenth birthday.
 The scent of Crayola crayons is among the twenty most recognizable to
American adults.
 The Crayola brand name is recognized by 99 percent of all Americans.
 Red barns and black tires got their colors thanks in part to two of Binney &
Smith's earliest products: red pigment and carbon black. Red and black are
also the most popular crayon colors, mostly because children tend to use
them for outlining.
 Binney & Smith is dedicated to environmental responsibility. Crayons that
don't meet quality standards are remelted and used to make new crayons.
Ninety percent of Crayola products packaging is made from recycled
cardboard. The company also makes sure the wood in their colored pencils
doesn't originate from tropical rain forests.
 Binney & Smith produces two billion Crayola crayons a year, which, if
placed end to end, would circle the earth 4.5 times.
 Crayola crayon boxes are printed in eleven languages: Danish, Dutch,
English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese,
Spanish, and Swedish.

502

Something Completely Different:

 In 1864, Joseph W. Binney began the Peekskill Chemical Works in Peekskill, New
York, producing hardwood charcoal and a black pigment called lampblack. In 1880
he opened a New York office and invited his son, Edwin Binney, and his nephew,
C. Harold Smith, to join the company. The cousins renamed the company Binney &
Smith and expanded the product line to include shoe polish, printing ink, black
crayons, and chalk.
 In 1903, the Binney & Smith company made the first box of Crayola crayons
costing a nickel and containing eight colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet,
brown, and black.
 Alice Binney, wife of company co-owner Edwin Binney, coined the word Crayola
by joining craie, from the French word meaning chalk, with ola, from oleaginous,
meaning oily.
 In 1949, Binney & Smith introduced another forty colors: Apricot, Bittersweet, Blue
Green, Blue Violet, Brick Red, Burnt Sienna, Carnation Pink, Cornflower, Flesh
(renamed Peach in 1962, partly as a result of the civil rights movement), Gold,
Gray, Green Blue, Green Yellow, Lemon Yellow, Magenta, Mahogany, Maize,
Maroon, Melon, Olive Green, Orange Red, Orange Yellow, Orchid, Periwinkle,
Pine Green, Prussian Blue (renamed Midnight Blue in 1958 in response to teachers'
requests), Red Orange, Red Violet, Salmon, Sea Green, Silver, Spring Green, Tan,
Thistle, Turquoise Blue, Violet Blue, Violet Red, White, Yellow Green, and Yellow
Orange.
 In 1958, Binney & Smith added sixteen colors, bringing the total number of colors
to 64: Aquamarine, Blue Gray, Burnt Orange, Cadet Blue, Copper, Forest Green,
Goldenrod, Indian Red, Lavender, Mulberry, Navy Blue, Plum, Raw Sienna, Raw
Umber, Sepia, and Sky Blue. They also introduced the now-classic 64-box of
crayons, complete with built-in sharpener.
 In 1972, Binney & Smith introduced eight fluorescent colors: Atomic Tangerine,
Blizzard Blue, Hot Magenta, Laser Lemon, Outrageous Orange, Screamin' Green,
Shocking Pink, and Wild Watermelon. In 1990, the company introduced eight more
fluorescent colors: Electric Lime, Magic, Mint, Purple Pizzazz, Radical Red, Razzle
Dazzle Rose, Sunglow, Unmellow Yellow, and Neon Carrot.
 In 1990, Binney & Smith retired eight traditional colored crayons from its 64-
crayon box (Green Blue, Orange Red, Orange Yellow, Violet Blue, Maize, Lemon
Yellow, Blue Gray, and Raw Umber) and replaced them with such New Age hues as
(Cerulean, Vivid Tangerine, Jungle Green, Fuchsia, Dandelion, Teal Blue, Royal
Purple, and Wild Strawberry). Retired colors were enshrined in the Crayola Hall of
Fame. Protests from groups such as RUMPS (The Raw Umber and Maize
Preservation Society) and CRAYON (The Committee to Reestablish All Your Old
Norms) convinced Binney & Smith to release the one million boxes of the Crayola
Eight in October 1991.
 In 1993, Binney & Smith celebrated Crayola brand's ninetieth birthday by
introducing the biggest crayon box ever with 96 colors.

503

chemically (at least) except that they have a very slightly. Isotopes of an element behave pretty much the same way. 235 92U Both the atomic number and the mass number are given. We could call it: Uranium – 235 Here we give its mass number. You won’t find mass numbers on the periodic table.The mass number is the number of nucleons in an atom – so it’s like the number of protons plus the old number of your basic neutrons. isotopes behave the same. Instead they are supplied as part of the name of the isotope. So a chemist doesn’t really care about the thing. For example some atoms of carbon (atomic number 6) have 6 neutrons while others might have 8. Atoms that have different mass numbers are called isotopes. electrons. So far as chemistry is concerned. teeny difference in mass. and neutrons for 238 U? 92 504 . U – 235 The chemical symbol for the element plus the mass number. A is the symbol for the mass number. N is the number of neutrons. Isotopes are identified by their mass numbers. The mass number and atomic number are supplied as follows: Mass number 235 92 U Symbol for element Atomic number Using the atomic symbol and the mass number we can find the number of particles an isotope has. 235 U The chemical symbol plus the mass number. 235. AZ  N That is to say: Mass number = atomic number + number of neutrons  How many protons. Let’s take as our example an isotope of uranium. Atoms are required to have a mass number because the number of neutrons can vary from one atom of a particular element to another. There are several ways to do this.

Sure enough. for some reason. Number of neutrons: AZ  N N  AZ 238  92  146 Radioactivity: (You need to know this stuff. A = 92. Then he placed a piece of potassium uranyl sulfate. Most disconcerting. It had been established that certain substances would fluoresce. His idea was that the uranium compound would fluoresce in sunlight – absorb light and then give off x-rays. Radioactivity  spontaneous breakdown of an unstable atomic nucleus with emission of particles and rays. The x-rays would go through the paper and fog the film. we beamed UV light onto materials that would fluoresce with UV. Fluoresce means that the substance absorbs electromagnetic waves of some type (like light) and then emits electromagnetic waves later on. this is by definition the number of protons. Turns out that some combinations are more stable than others. Radioactivity has to do with the weak nuclear force and the combination of protons and neutrons. Number of electrons = 92. a compound containing uranium.) Radioactivity was discovered in 1896 by Antoine-Henri Becquerel (1852 . stable. Becquerel devised an elegant experiment to detect the x-rays. He wrapped a photographic plate with dark paper so no light could reach it. and was “invisible” because we can’t see that part of the electromagnetic spectrum.1908). up photographic 505 . since the number of electrons = the number of protons. he later The Becquerel placed some of the material. They appeared to glow in the dark because the atoms were emitting visible light. so.you don’t need to know this stuff. The nuclei just up and break apart. in a dark desk drawer on top of a wrapped Plate plate. ======================================= (Backkground info .) Certain types of isotopes are not. Eureka! Unfortunately or maybe fortunately. For example. We call such elements radioactive isotopes. on the paper. The emitted waves do not have to have the same wavelength as the absorbed waves. giving off the newly discovered x-rays. The light causing them to do this was UV. The whole general thing is called radioactivity. the plate was fogged when he developed it.

Radiation ionizes air molecules surrounding them. we soon find that the nuclei have more neutrons than protons. The neutrons are required. to "cement" the protons together to form a nucleus. Radioactive emissions affect photographic film. but C-14 is radioactive. Marie Skodowska Curie (1867-1934). It appears to be related to the interaction of protons and neutrons in the nucleus. a Polish born French chemist. For this to happen. For some reason.  The strong force has a much smaller effective range than does the electromagnetic force. The protons would normally repel each other because of their like charges. 506 . Working with her husband. C- 12 is stable. the protons must be very close together – about the radius of a proton or so. found that it was the uranium.) The mechanism of radioactivity is not really understood. Later. which was releasing the radiation. 3. For example. 5. In 1898 she found that other substances such as thorium also gave off radiation. The force that keeps the nucleus together. Radiation destroys and alters the nucleus of the atom and produces a new element or elements from the old one. Pierre. that acts between protons and neutrons is called the nuclear force.even though it was in the dark and away from sunlight! Whatever had been emitted did not require sunlight and was not a fluorescence byproduct. much greater than the electromagnetic force binds them together. however. Then the strong force kicks in. To sum it up:  The strong force is enormously stronger than the electromagnetic force. She coined the word "radioactivity" to describe the effect. Neutrons are required in the mix of protons for the strong force to work properly. the number of neutrons increases. Radiation has physical effects on living organisms . To his amazement. 2. such as C-14 and Co-60.confident that nothing would happen without sunlight. but this does not happen in the nucleus. he developed the plate.it can kill or damage tissue. he found that the plate was still fogged . Most helium atoms have two protons and two neutrons. This force is many orders of magnitude greater than the electromagnetic force – it would have to be wouldn’t it to keep the protons close together? We know that like electric charges repel each other. It turns out that all naturally occurring elements which have an atomic number greater than 83 (bismuth is the element with the honor of having atomic number 83) are radioactive. she discovered the element polonium (which she named for her native country. in some way not fully understood. Sometimes it is called the strong nuclear force. Characteristics of radioactive isotopes: 1. just for the heck of it. Poland) and radium. ===================================================================== Why Are Some Elements Radioactive? (Important stuff you need to know. There are also quite a few isotopes with low atomic numbers that are radioactive. But what produced the emissions? A year later. The strong force. so the protons don’t want to be close together. As the nucleus gets bigger. As the number of protons increase. 4.no neutrons. Radiation makes certain compounds fluoresce (give off electromagnetic radiation). certain combinations of neutrons and protons are more stable than others. The normal isotope of hydrogen has only one proton in its nucleus .

the number of atoms of the radioactive isotope decreases as the nuclei break apart and form other elements. So Ernest Rutherford discovered alpha particles before anyone knew anything about helium nuclei. Gamma radiation is made up of very short wavelength electromagnetic waves. The symbol for the beta particle is . After one half-life (1620years) only half of the sample remains – the other half has decayed into some other element. Alpha particles.  They can be greatly deflected by a magnetic field (because of their small mass and negative charge). Each alpha consists of 2 protons and 2 neutrons.  's have a positive charge (+2).  They are stopped easily by a sheet of paper. so they have a have a negative charge (-1). They can be stopped by a layer of metal foil or several sheets of paper. Here are some characteristics of the different types of radiation: 1. The symbol for gamma rays is . The types of radiation were discovered before the particles were. and gamma. For example. The old. Beta particles. These new decay elements or products are called daughters. Gamma rays. Half-life  the time for one half of a radioactive sample to decay.) Any sample of a radioactive element has atoms that undergo spontaneous radioactive decay. alpha particles.) There are three major types of radiation that the nuclear physicist is concerned with: alpha. The alpha particles are actually helium nuclei. 3. Alpha radiation consists of particles. the amount of the parent decreases with time. radium-226 has a half-life of 1620 years. When it does this.  's are electrons. The rate of decay is often described in terms of the half-life. This is shown in the graph below. Because of this decay. 507 . The symbol for the alpha particle is . After two half-lives only one fourth would remain and so on. =================================================== Types of Radioactivity: (Important stuff you need to know.   particles are helium nuclei.  's are only slightly deflected by a magnetic field (because of their large mass).  's penetrate matter a greater distance than  particles. beta.=================================================================== Half-life: (This is stuff you do not need to know. original radioactive element is called the parent. The reason for the odd names is a simple one. Beta radiation is also made up of particles – electrons. One kg of radium-226 begins the thing. but they still aren’t very penetrating. 2.

the atomic number and the mass number for each element must be balanced on both sides (in addition to the number of elements). the mass number decreases by 4 and the atomic number decreases by 2.   ’s are very short wavelength. high frequency photons. 238 92 U  234 90 Th  4 2 He U-238 decays to produce Th-234 and an alpha particle. The Th-234 is called a daughter or daughter product. 508 .) Nuclear reactions are somewhat different than chemical reactions. Types of Nuclear Reactions: (Important stuff you need to know.  They are the most penetrating form of radiation. Stopping  ’s requires great thicknesses of heavy materials such as lead or concrete. the equation is balanced when the number of each of the different elements on the reactant side equals the number of the different elements on the product side. In chemical reactions. The effect of balancing the atomic number is to actually balance the charge of the reactant and product. During alpha decay. they have no charge). an unstable nucleus produces a daughter nucleus and releases an  particle.  They are not deflected by magnetic fields (again. In nuclear reactions.) Alpha decay: In alpha decay.   ’s have no charge. Symbols Used For Particles In Nuclear Reactions: 1 Neutron 0 n 1 Proton 1 p 0 Electron 1 e 4 Alpha particle 2 He Gamma ray 0 0  0 Beta particle 1 e Nuclear Reactions: (Important stuff you need to know. We say that the mass number and atomic number must be conserved.

Note that in this reaction. this is because a neutron was emitted.  (a) State the type of reaction the following nuclear equation represents and (b) complete it: 15 8O  ___  0 1 e 509 . but has no effect on the mass number since a neutron and a proton are both nucleons. The process released a neutron. In 1932 James Chadwick (1891 . The tracks of the hydrogen. (Think about it. which Chadwick detected by the damage it wrought on a piece of paraffin. physicists would bombard atomic nuclei with high-speed particles and then see what happened. Pretty cool thing.) Beginning in the late 1930's. the atomic number of the daughter decreases by one. how do you detect a particle that has no charge?) Anyway. discovered the neutron. A beta particle is also produced. Thorium-234 (produced by alpha decay above. which showed the path of the neutron. During electron capture. Alpha decay does this frequently. He did this by bombarding beryllium with alpha particles. 234 90 Th  234 91 Pa  0 1 e Here. Note that the atomic number on the left is equal to the total atomic number on the right.this increases the atomic number by one. The beryllium absorbed the alpha particle and became carbon. Here is the reaction: 9 4 Be  2 4 He  C  12 6 1 0 n  energy The atomic number increased by 2 (the two protons in the  particle) and the mass number went up by 3 instead of 4. the neutron would plow into the paraffin and collide with hydrogen atoms and knock them about. These days we call the things "particle accelerators".Beta decay: In  decay a neutron in the nucleus of the unstable radioactive parent decays and becomes a proton as it emits a  particle (an electron). Originally the equipment that did the job was called an "atom smasher".1974). was what he could then observe. there is no change to the mass number. Gamma Decay :Many nuclear reactions often produce  rays. say) has one of its neutrons become a proton . you are producing gold from mercury. an English physicist. 238 92U  234 90 Th  4 He 2   0 0 Other Nuclear Reactions: (Important stuff you need to know.

don’t it? But mutations are of great importance. without evolution. we would not be here – well.even inside of us. Medical Uses: Radiation is also used to treat cancers.(a) Okay. (b) Oxygen-15 loses a beta particle. Now we can complete the reaction: 10 5B  1 0n  7 3 Li  4 2 He ====================================================================== Is Radiation All Bad? (Stuff you do not need to know. Yet radiation is a natural thing.) The great teeming United States population is deathly afraid of radiation . see if you can balance the thing. the mass number on the right side totals up to be eleven. Turns out that cancer cells are slightly more vulnerable to radiation than healthy cells. Now we can fill everything in. We know this because one of the products is an electron. does it? Makes you think of those old black and white horror movies with the guy having the head of a fly or something. Radiation is all around us . Mutations: Radiation causes mutations and this is a good thing. we might be here. which is nitrogen. which has a mass number value of 1. On the left side we have a neutron. See the atomic number does this: 8   1  7 There is no change to the mass number. ___  1 0n  7 3 Li  4 2 He Here. this is clearly beta decay. Doesn’t sound like a good thing though. but in the form of a single cell happily living on a bit of sludge with no interest in physics whatsoever. 15 8O  15 7N  0 1 e  Here is a nuclear reaction. The atomic number decreases by one so the oxygen becomes an element with an atomic number of seven. 510 . so it must be five (the total atomic number on the right side). so the mass number of the decaying nucleus must be ten. We are exposed to it every second of our lives.any kind of radiation. A beam of radioactive particles ( rays for example) are directed at the cancer tumor. The neutron has no effect on the atomic number of the decaying nucleus. Radiation in high doses is lethal to tissue. They are one of the key factors in evolution. so it stays at 15. The atomic number total on the right side is five. So the decaying nucleus must be boron. And.

Virtually all spices are treated with radiation. coli. and chicken are particularly vulnerable.gambling casinos! A brochure from a casino states: "The games at Pharaoh's casino are based on true random numbers.000 hospitalizations and 500 deaths every year. none of the major food suppliers 511 . Recently there have been some terrible outbreaks of food poisoning from several different bacteria strains (salmonella. it will keep indefinitely at room temperature without spoiling. (Actually. Gamma rays are electromagnetic waves and leave no trace of themselves. Africa. killing all the microorganisms in its path. eggs. however. or drinking milk. eggs sunny side up. Contamination of food with bacteria is quite common around the world. the problem would go away. leading to 325. Oprah has given up eating meat (at least hamburgers)! Using food irradiation." Food Sterilization: Radiation is also used to sterilize food. merely rendered sterile. The females will have satisfied their mating urges and will lay eggs that will never hatch. Insect Sterilization: Radiation is used to sterilize insects (usually the males) so that they can be released in the wild and mate without producing any offspring. and Asia. This makes sure that the contents are sterile. it is often irradiated after it is sealed. So far. The process is very simple. but the surrounding tissue receives much less radiation and survives. Our federal government estimates that 75 million Americans get some kind of stomach poisoning from nasty bacteria per anum. even in the good old US of A. The gamma rays scream through the material. The food is not made radioactive.) as well as some of the nastier parasites. Ground beef. which uses the unpredictability of background radiation to generate genuinely random numbers. The United States has not gotten on board – fear of radiation mainly. This is being done in Southern California to try and eradicate the Mediterranean fruit fly. Many people are seriously worried about eating hamburgers. Gambling: Another strange use the Physics Kahuna recently ran across -. generated by a Geiger-Müller Tube Detector.To make sure that healthy tissue is not destroyed along with the malignant cells. The FDA recently approved the process for all foods (it had been previously authorized for use in pork). This technique has been around for decades - the Physics Kahuna recalls reading about it in the good old Weekly Reader in the third grade.) Food has been irradiated for years in Europe. The tumor receives a lethal dose. the food is simply irradiated with high energy gamma rays. Radiation can be used to truly sterilize food. If the food is then sealed in a sterile container. the radiation source sweeps out an arc with the focus on the tumor. etc. e.

it can be determined how well they took up the fertilizer.S. For example. Biological Tracers: Radioactive isotopes can be added to systems and used as tracers. Later. Irradiated food has to be labeled as such. by testing the plants.have come forward to take up the process. The one you’ve probably heard about the most is carbon-14 dating. giving a doctor valuable information about how the individual's circulatory system is working. Smoke particles interfere with the ionized air. Here is the nuclear reaction for its production: 14 7N  0 n  6C 1 14  11H 512 . Carbon-14 is produced in the upper atmosphere by the collision of cosmic rays with nitrogen-14. U. Isotopes can be added to fertilizer before it is spread on a field. radioactive iodine is often injected into a person's bloodstream. Radioactive Dating: Radioactive isotopes are used to accurately date archeological sites and the age of rocks and minerals on the earth (and also the ones brought back from the moon). the current flow stops and sets off the alarm. Am- 241 is an  emitter. Give you an idea how well the plants liked the stuff. The  particles ionize the air inside a detector chamber causing the ionized air to conduct an electric current. The isotope can be tracked as it circulates through the blood vessels. Smoke Detectors: A trace amount of americium-241 is used in smoke detectors. Mail Sterilization: (New! This just in!) Radiation is now being used to sterilize mail sent to the Senate and the House of Representatives to thwart any further anthrax attacks. and the big outfits fear that people would refuse to buy such products.

Dear Cecil: About 15 years ago I read an obscure government publication on the use of uranium in dental porcelain. The carbon-14 is radioactive and decays over time – its half-life is 5730 years. to make the porcelain more luminous like natural teeth. And while you're at it. The timing of this was suspicious. bombs. Preferably before I need more dental work. however. Scientists can measure the amount of carbon-14 in the tissue and accurately determine the length of the time since the death of the organism. You have to wonder if those Manhattan Project scientists. Cecil. toiling over crucibles of hot uranium. Because of the half-life. what is the safest dental material? --Pearl E. White. we can always go into teeth. the use of uranium in dental porcelain was patented in 1942. friend--in these days of crummy schools an accomplishment in itself. if this nuclear weapon thing. It was estimated that this use of uranium causes about 2. The production rate is constant. Some of the carbon-14 will decay. Real teeth have natural fluorescence.000 cases of cancer per year. I've since mentioned this to many dentists. so the percentage of carbon-14 in the atmosphere is also a constant. To give dental work the same glow. I'm counting on you to find out what's going on here. carbon-14 dating is good to only about 70 000 years ago. but it is replaced. 513 . the decaying carbon-14 is no longer replaced and its concentration begins to diminish. In one of those classic wacky moves. It said uranium is added to dental porcelain for cosmetic reasons. but none of them had ever heard of this. Chicago Cecil replies: You read right. Once something dies. got to thinking. so all living things have the same percent of carbon-14 in their tissues. manufacturers once upon a time did put uranium in dental porcelain to give crowns and false teeth that certain glow. If you shine a black light on your teeth they gleam a brilliant white. hey. you know. The isotope is taken up by plants and ends up in the entire food chain.

The industry was given a federal exemption to continue using uranium. It was an easy call. The amount of uranium used in dental porcelain was small--0. The debate proceeded along the following lines. None of the research I came across mentioned a specific number of cancer deaths. it occurred to the dental-ceramics industry that a substance that had destroyed cities might have adverse health effects if used in the mouth. Uranium merely happens to fluoresce in the presence of UV light. On the other hand.05 percent by weight in the U. On the one hand. Manufacturers discussed the situation with the Atomic Energy Commission in the 1950s. Fluorescence is harmless.1 percent in Germany.I should point out that the glow imparted to false teeth by uranium was not in itself a consequence of radioactivity. In the wake of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Uranium's advantage was that it would survive the high heat of porcelain manufacture. but clearly this was not something you'd do for the health benefits. 0. Lots of compounds do it. 514 . Nonetheless the fake teeth bombarded the oral mucosa with radiation that was maybe eight times higher than normal background radiation. their teeth looked great. In the 1970s some began to wonder if this had been the world's smartest decision. However.S. putting uranium in people's mouths might possibly give them cancer and kill them. you did have the problem that uranium also emitted radioactivity..

When compared. If you'd like to make your apples or oranges even zestier and full of life-giving energy. What's so bad about comparing apples to oranges? ----. Dear Dr. a gummy substance used as filler in shampoos and food by-products. Science responds: Apples and oranges are oppositely charged fruits. That blue sparking you'll see around the edge is the energy being absorbed by the happy fruit. wrap them in tinfoil and place them in the microwave oven for a few minutes. In 1930 Wolfgang Pauli was studying beta decay. and become Polysorbate 60. He surmised that there had to be another particle that had the missing energy and momentum.) Neutrinos are extremely tiny particles that have very little mass. However after analyzing the motion of the particles after the reaction. bring a bunch of protons home and then go shopping at Wal-Mart. Where can we get more antiprotons. he could not account for all the energy and momentum. They're on sale this week at Wal-Mart. Science responds: You're in luck. your question? Of course. Neutrinos: (Important stuff you need to know. He predicted that the nuclear reaction should produce a certain amount of energy and of course. He caused the reaction to happen by bombarding an atomic nucleus with a high-energy particle. Dear Doctor Science. just like you used to be able to do at the five-and-dime but Woolworth's was another scarred era of my youth. Mishawaka. Might as well stick your head in the target end of a linear accelerator some days. Fortunately. you can't win. anyway? ----. or you'll end up with a broken microwave oven full of boiling fruit juice. Buy 'em by the sack and save. they cancel each other out. Later it was given the name “neutrino” by Enrico Fermi. But leave it to some National Geographic type to dig a hole in the ice. Oh.Tim from Houston. The story of how they came to be discovered is interesting. most protons are huddled in proton globs deep beneath the arctic poles. Let an antiproton near one of those pesky protons and you've got a potential nuclear winter on your hands. Science. It wasn’t until the mid 1950’s that the neutrino was actually detected. energy and momentum have to be conserved. I tell you. Here’s an example of a reaction that produces a neutrino (this would be beta decay. Don't leave them in there too long. TX Dr. IN Dr. right?): 515 . the main thing you want to do is keep them away from protons. I've read that there's an antiproton shortage affecting anti-matter research.Dave Berglund. So he theorized a new particle had to exist.

Here are three common. Fission: (Important stuff you need to know. In fission. Here’s the equation for the reaction: 238 92U  1 0n  239 92U U-239 is unstable and undergoes beta decay. neutrinos don’t interact with matter at all. This made them very difficult to actually detect – if they don’t interact with matter. It is fairly stable and will hang around for thousands of years before it all decays away. Let’s look at two different reactions involving slow neutron bombardment. There are actually a great number of possible reactions (which are all fairly similar). a huge flux of them is passing through your body as you read this thing. with the same slow neutrons. The first reaction is the bombardment of U-238 with a slow neutron. 239 93 Np  239 94 Pu  0 1 e Pu – 239. but recent experiments have shown that the particles do have mass. typical ones: 235 92U  1 0n  141 56 Ba  92 36 Kr  3 01n 235 92U  1 0n  140 54 Xe  94 38 Sr  2 01n 235 92U  1 0n  132 50 Sn  101 42 Mo  3 01n 516 . One causes fission and the other does not. but only a very very small one. a nucleus splits apart to form two new elements (or daughter fission products). how can you tell if you’ve got one? At one time it was believed that neutrinos had no mass at all.) Fission turns out to be a very important type of nuclear reaction. Essentially. but its rate of decay is much slower that the other products. the final product is also radioactive. U – 235. 14 6C  14 7N  0 1 e  v The symbol for the neutrino is v. Actually they are very common in the universe. 239 92U  239 93 Np  0 1 e Np-239 also undergoes beta decay. Now if you bombard another isotope of uranium. (Which is not to say that it is a safe material – it is extremely radioactive and very dangerous). Here are some characteristics of neutrinos:  Neutrinos have zero charge  They have an extremely small mass  Very weak interaction with matter. something very different happens – we get fission.

A long tube separated two chunks of the metal. it would not cause an atomic explosion. Do you see how this would work? A neutron causes a fission. The uranium metal. then each nucleus that fissions causes exactly one more nucleus to fission. This was the "Little Boy" bomb. and so on. The United States built the first atomic bombs during WWII. or supercritical. eventually melting the uranium fuel. The reaction increases and multiplies very quickly. Some leak out of the system and the rest have to be absorbed by something. It used a gun type mechanism to achieve criticality. so we get nine more fissions. This will happen if you do not have a critical mass. critical. the reactor can be kept at a critical state. One bomb used pure U-235. If the system is critical. By carefully positioning the rods. The program was called the “Manhattan Project”. which will give us 27 neutrons. In a nuclear reactor control rods are inserted into the core (the place where the fuel is located) and absorbs some of the neutrons. When the system is critical. A subcritical reaction basically dies out. It can cause a chain reaction. In a small amount of fissionable material. Pu-239. The government set up a super secret program to build the bomb. you can see that we have excess neutrons produced and something has to be done with some of them. Two bomb designs were conceived and built. The other critical thing is the production of neutrons. Here’s an equation for the reaction. This reaction can have three states: it can be subcritical. produced by the U-238. So we get three fissions. most of the neutrons leak out of the system and do not cause fissions. 239 94 Pu  1 0n  106 44 Ru  131 50 Sn  3 01n  energy The fission process produces an enormous amount of energy (we will see how this happens shortly). highly enriched U-235. However. 517 . The system must have a critical mass for the chain reaction to take place. This causes the reaction to come to a halt. if a nuclear reactor were to go super critical. also undergoes fission when bombarded with neutrons. Atomic bomb explosions are super critical events. It is also used to make bombs.Note that we end up with two new elements. The fissioning nucleus releases three neutrons and each of these neutrons causes another fission. The production of  three neutrons is a critical thing. Super critical is when each fissioning nucleus causes more than one other nucleus to fission. Nuclear power plants are designed to operate at a critical state. Each of these produces three neutrons. so it was kept in two parts. The reaction takes place at a steady rate. Instead it would heat up. The reaction is controllable. For this reason fission is used to produce electricity in nuclear reactors. had to be kept out of a critical mass configuration (else it would go critical).

The second bomb used plutonium and was called "Fat Man".use the thing. When detonated a shock wave was formed that was focused towards the center. One can say that a new age began with the test firing. but the war in the Pacific raged on. Anyway. an explosive charge was detonated which drove the U-235 "bullet" down the tube and into the uranium mass at the end of the tube.When the weapon was set off. Once the bomb was tested. The uranium bomb. The main reasoning was that lives. Surrounding the plutonium sphere were explosive charges.the first atomic bomb released around 4 x 1019 J. a decision about its use had to be made. Should the Japanese be warned that the US had the atom bomb? Should a bomb be set off as a demonstration? Well. It was basically a large metal sphere. while supercritical. The charges formed an explosive lens. the bomb produced 20 000 kilotons. Almost instantly the U-235 became a critical mass and went supercritical. a kiloton is an explosion equivalent to the burst of a thousand tons of TNT. There was a great deal of debate about how it should be best employed. President Truman said that he never second-guessed the decision. the plutonium would be almost instantly compressed to form a critical mass and at that point the plutonium would go supercritical and yield a nuclear explosion. would merely get very hot and melt. The war in Europe had ended. The output of nuclear bombs are given in kilotons. The two chunks of uranium have to be put together into a critical mass almost instantly. The energy that is released is enormous . Too slow and an explosion does not occur. In 10-6 seconds (a millionth of a second) 100 reactions will have taken place and so on. Little Boy. once the charges were fired. It takes 10-8 sec for a neutron (these are available because U 235 is naturally radioactive) to be absorbed and cause a nucleus to fission. instead the metal. which releases around 3 more neutrons. The plutonium was formed an expanded sphere that was sort of spongy so that it would not be critical. New Explosive shape charge Plutonium 239 Critical Mass Critical mass has formed bomb ready to explode Plutonium "Fat boy" bomb Mexico on 16 July 1945. The first bomb actually exploded was a plutonium weapon that was test fired at Alamogordo. you know what President Truman decided . both 518 . Instead. The scientists expected a yield of around 5 000 kilotons). yielded about 12 kilotons.

was sure to be a bloody affair (on both sides). the uranium device. So the honor of being the first nation to use an atomic bomb in war belongs to the United States. unlike bombs. . The core is flooded with water. The fuel is typically 3 to 5 percent enriched. Nuclear Power Issues: (Stuff you do not need to know. The primary reason for this is environmental concern. The other problem is that the spent fuel is highly radioactive and we have yet to work out a method of disposing of the nuclear wastes that makes everyone happy. 519 . and they moderate or slow down the neutrons. Reactors do not require highly enriched uranium to operate. would be saved if the war could be ended without having to invade Japan. so that radioactivity is not released.was dropped on Nagasaki. Many people think it stopped the war and saved millions of American (and Japanese) lives.) A reactor must be able to sustain criticality (you don't want it to be supercritical!). Others believe that it was immoral and unjustified. which are producing a huge amount of heat. yet the United States seems to be determined to get out of the nuclear power generating business.a plutonium bomb . The two loops do not mix. The condensate is converted to steam which can then drive a turbine. this was the Little Boy weapon.) Nuclear power makes up 80 % of the electricity generated in France. What do you think? Nuclear Reactors: (Stuff you do not need to know. are designed to release the energy stored in the atoms slowly and reasonably gently. Controlling the neutron speed helps keep the reactor critical.) Nuclear reactors. generating electricity. A few days later a second weapon . which does two things: it cools the fuel rods. (Meaning that only 3 % to 5 % of the uranium is U-235. The bomb was dropped on Hiroshima with devastating results. The steam is condensed and returned to the heat exchanger. In fact there are presently no new reactors under construction and several that were being built have been abandoned. only about 20 % of our electricity is generated by nuclear reactors. The coolant water is circulated through a heat exchanger where it gives up its heat to a second loop of cooling water called condensate. The turbine rotates an electric generator. There is still a huge controversy about the use of atomic weapons in this way. Today. Many people fear that reactors are time bombs waiting to release deadly radiation that will poison the environment and cause terrible health damage to the populace.the invasion of Japan.American and Japanese. seen as the only way to make the Japanese surrender.

The Chernobyl reactor was a bad design to begin with." This is an example of the power of corporations to inform and delight us about the exciting world Science has in store for all of us. Navy. There was no chemical explosion. A civilian merchant ship. real world for a zesty. the reactor core melted which caused a chemical explosion. and aircraft carriers by the U. Science. if any. Here. The old Soviet Union also operated nuclear powered ice breakers. The reactor was not within an adequate containment vessel and huge amounts of radiation were released into the atmosphere and water system. and there was no environmental impact. It was an awful expensive accident. serious plans were developed for nuclear powered aircraft. Other Uses of Nuclear Power: (Stuff you do not need to know. The worst one was in Russia at a reactor located at Chernobyl." This same publication refers to cosmic rays as giving off a "cinnamony" aroma and spent plutonium as "lemony fresh. 520 . "Faulty Towers. So the next time you bite into an artificially flavored and colored food by-product. In the 1950’s. But the United States requires tremendous safety factors in nuclear reactors. however. An important thing to remember is that nuclear reactors cannot undergo a nuclear explosion." describes as "chocolatey. Dear Dr. Nuclear reactors are also used to power certain satellites and space probes. What is the odor.S. the core also melted down. and it was very poorly maintained. Due to an operator error. the people operating it were badly trained. The Russians and British also have nuclear powered submarines. The worst reactor incident in the United States happened at the Three Mile Island reactor. due to a faulty gauge and improper actions. Gainesville. imaginative one. Science responds: It's a smell that the nuclear power industry's house magazine.Nuclear disasters have taken place. the SS Savanah was also in service during the 1950s and 1960s.) Nuclear power is currently used to provide propulsion for submarines. of nuclear power? Jenny. Florida Dr. thank the nuclear power industry for exchanging our bland. the containment vessel was not breached. missile cruisers.

that wouldn't involve a bunch of tedious study? -.Units: (Important stuff you need to know. it's anything goes. Here is the value we will use. you just go ahead and invent another subatomic particle.) The electron volt. If you can't explain the results of your experiments. You just do your own thing and see what happens. so it is very common to use the MeV (mega-electron volt). Atomic mass unit: (Important stuff you need to know. which is abbreviated as u.) The reason nuclear reactions (like fission) release tremendous amounts of energy is due to a discovery made by Albert Einstein..) Many units are used when dealing with the nucleus and subatomic particles. You not only get away with murder. One atomic mass unit is equal to one twelfth of the mass of a carbon-12 nucleus.) The mass of the atom is frequently measured in units called the atomic mass unit. and the burden of proof lies anywhere but on you.Bernie Brown from St. Is there any subject that I could concentrate on that would be fun and easy to master. 1 u  1. Science responds: Have you considered nuclear physics? It's even more unstructured than most art classes. It’s sad how people 521 . an overlooked German born physicist who nobody has ever heard of.66 x 10-27 kg The electron volt: (Important stuff you need to know. It is essentially the energy that an electron gains when accelerated through a potential difference of one volt. 1 MeV  106 eV Dear Doctor Science. you get famous! Mass Equivalence to Energy: (Important stuff you need to know.. they name it after you.you know. Protons have a slightly different mass than neutrons. Louis MO Dr. I don't like to study and so I'm not doing very well in school. abbreviated as eV is a unit of energy that is used with subatomic particles. 1 eV  1. Then. if somebody else agrees with you that the particle exists. Since nobody really knows what the rules are. So one atomic mass unit is about the mass of a proton or neutron.60 x 1019 J The electron volt is a small unit.

don’t you think? The Physics Kahuna puzzled over this thing for many a microsecond before he finally figured it out. m is the mass. and c is the speed of light. Perhaps you have seen the equation for this. This 522 . On the AP Physics test the equation takes this form: E   m  c 2 Note. you just use the conversion factor as: 1 u  931 MeV Meaning of Einstein’s Equation: Ah. but what does Einstein’s equation mean? Well. Indeed they are not – not even your basic close. young student of physics. that it’s really still essentially identical to the E0  mc equation. correctimundo? So we take us this here equation and stick in MeV 1 u  931 for the mass: c2  MeV  2 E   m  c 2   931 2 c  c  2 The c term cancels out. this would be an incidental part of his theory of special relativity – the idea that mass and energy are equivalent. It has a really weird unit. So really. No. however. to be specific. It is certainly Einstein’s most famous equation and is perhaps the most famous of all equations: E0  mc 2 E0 is called the rest energy. so we see that a mass of one atomic mass unit is equivalent to 993 MeV. when you want to convert atomic mass units to MeV. 2 Here’s another conversion value that you will have available for use on the AP Physics test: MeV 1 u  931 c2 The c2 part of it tells us it comes from the E = mc2 equation.so easily forget the poor scientists who spend their lives in obscurity trying to understand how the universe works. what it does say is that mass and energy are equivalent. Anyway. Mass is equivalent to energy via the old E   m  c 2 equation. it doesn’t say that matter and energy are the same thing.

the positron and one of the electrons in the atom mutually destroy each other to keep the electrostatic charge of the atom balanced. resulting in habitual negativity and a co-dependent relationship to most sub-atomic particles.Albert Einstein Dear Doctor Science. when you think about it. This energy source cannot be tapped into ordinarily.. however. your nose begins to itch.. The glib supposition of utilizing atomic energy when our coal has run out is a completely unscientific Utopian dream. Millikan . a childish bug-a-boo. If that's the case. but certainly nothing that would ever actually do anything. chickens or no chickens.any one who expects a source of power from the transformation of these atoms is talking moonshine. -. Science responds: You may be allergic to chickens. . 523 . No one notices that a car speeding down the interstate at 75 mph has a slightly greater mass than it had when it was at rest in a driveway (more energy means more mass). It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will. you have to start setting limits and sticking to them.means that mass can be converted into energy and that energy can be converted into mass.. California Dr.Eric Raxler from Chino. There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom. even if you'd gladly twist yourself into a Mobius strip to do so. In positron emission. The old boy network thought that the energy mass equivalence thing was interesting. but really. Fusion device). My question is why does my nose itch when I think about chickens? -. We can’t just raid the trashcan and convert some old coffee grounds into energy (as was done in the first Back to the Future movie with a Mr. the response of the physics community was a sort of yawn type thing. Actually back in 1905 when Einstein published his theory.. -. You can't be all things to all matter. and positron emission has nothing to do with it. you might be one of those unfortunate few who have an electrostatic deficit. This does not mean that it can’t be done.Robert A. it is pretty revolutionary. Or. The effects of this are pretty insignificant in everyday life.Ernest Rutherford Even Einstein was of this opinion: There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable. a proton turns into a neutron and a positron. Once your level of self-loathing exceeds your sense of self worth. and they have no energy to give up in the process of disintegration. This sounds pretty tame. Nature has introduced a few fool-proof devices into the great majority of elements that constitute the bulk of the world.

031882 u . Hey! It can happen. helium four. Huge amounts of energy are thus produced.030373 u    27.007276 u  = 2.008665 u  = 2. This difference in mass is called the mass defect. The helium nucleus has four nucleons. so the mass defect and the binding energy equal each other. Anyway. Now mass and energy are equivalent. This is the mass defect. 4.001509 u  0. Fusion is when two nuclei are forced together to form a larger nuclei. This energy is called the binding energy.007276 u. obviously. The binding energy per nucleon is a critical factor in nuclear physics. This also happens in a process called fusion. ways were found to the deed. Let’s calculate it for the helium nucleus.031882 u Now we can compare this mass with the actual mass of a helium – 4 nucleus. 4. mass is converted into energy. One of the ways that we can tap into this energy/mass thing is during nuclear reactions.989 MeV  1u  28. the mass of a single proton is 1. the mass defect represents the energy that it takes to hold the nucleus together.494 MeV  0. The total mass of the new nucleus ends up being less than the combined mass of the individual particles that went into the thing. Since mass is equivalent to energy. Fusion is the source of the sun’s energy. In fission.030373 u We can find the amount of energy that would be equivalent to it. Deep within the sun hydrogen fuses into helium.008665 u. Maybe someday. This means that the mass of the nucleus is less than the sum of the masses of its individual particles.014552 u 2 1. 524 . We haven’t been able to figure out a way to use fusion to produce power in reactor plants like we do fission.  921. we can look at a helium nucleus. We can add up the mass of two protons and two neutrons and see what they total: 2 1.Mass Defect: (Important stuff you need to know. Binding Energy -. these guys.014552 u  2.017330 u 2. Fusion is also used in hydrogen bombs (which fuse isotopes of hydrogen together to form helium). For example. which is the binding energy. The mass of the nucleus is 4. Life exists on earth and we do what we do because of the energy we get from the sun.) A weird thing happens when you put a nucleus together from its spare parts (protons and neutrons). great physicists all. were mistaken.Well. and the mass of a single neutron is 1. He – 4 has 2 protons and 2 neutrons.001509 u.0 MeV of energy is bound up in the He-4 nucleus.017330 u  4.

989 MeV MeV  6. so in fusion. 27. For small mass numbers. We talked about how energy is released in the fission of isotopes like U-235 and Pu-239. so isotopes that have a mass number around 60 tend to be the most stable. but also how energy was also released in the fusion of hydrogen nuclei into helium nuclei. This would be fusion. This means that the nucleus changes from one where the nucleus is loosely bound to where the nuclei formed are more tightly bound. This curve explains how this can happen. fission takes place) we go from a low binding energy per nucleon to a higher binding energy per nucleon. we get the following graph: From the graph we can see that most elements have a binding energy per nucleon between eight and nine. 525 . This means that energy can be released. energy can also be released. Their nucleons are the most tightly bound.. Another way to see the energy business a bit more clearly (in the opinion of the Physics Kahuna) is to plot mass per nucleon versus atomic number. we have elements with very large mass numbers.99 725 4 nucleon If the binding energy per nucleon is plotted with mass number.e. The curves peaks around mass number 60. For fission. This curve turns out to be very important. If the mass number decreases (i. as the mass number increases the binding energy per nucleon also increases.

the mass per nucleon decreases.014102 u   3.016 029 u  1. Just the opposite happens for the higher atomic number elements – energy is released as the atomic number decreases.Here you can see that as the atomic number decreases for the low atomic number elements. The mass of a solo neutron is 1.66 x 1027 kg  27 (b) 0. (a) 2  2. The mass of a helium-3 nuclei is 3.0 x 109 J of energy in one year.005393 x 10 kg  5.008 665 u  0. Calculate the following: (a) the mass defect for the production of a helium-3 nuclei in this reaction.003 249 u    0. (c) the energy release from a single fusion reaction in mega-electron volts. (b) the energy release from a single fusion reaction in joules.016 029 u. In this nuclear reaction 1 H  1 H  2 He  0 n two deuterium nuclei combine in a 2 2 3 1  fusion reaction to form Helium three and a neutron. (d) A moderate sized city requires 2.003 249 u  1.014 102 u. The mass of a deuterium nuclei is 2. Calculate the number of deuterium atoms that must be fused in order to produce this amount of energy. the mass that is missing will have been converted into energy.393 x 1030 kg  1u  526 .008 665 u.

003 249 u  931 2  2 c 3.393 x 10 30 kg  3 x 108   s E  48.1 x 1021 nuclei  4.03 MeV  1.0 x 10 J  -13 4. 527 . Science responds: The element of surprise is represented by a simple question mark. but I couldn't find it on my periodic table of the elements. ? Dr.03 x 10 eV  6 -19 3. the cause of all emotional conflict.85 x 10 J  Dear Doctor Science.85 x 10-13 J    3. This is why you can't find these elements on most periodic tables.  1 eV  4. including the infamous Heisenberg Self Congratulatory Reflex. Being covalently needy and hungry for electrovalent stability.85 x 10-13 J  MeV  2 (c) E   m  c  0. I've heard a lot about the element of Surprise. Its atomic mass is the same as a neighboring element on the periodic table. 2  m E   m  c 2  5.  1 nuclei    0.41 x 10 nuclei  9 22 (d) 2. What is the symbol for it? What is its atomic mass? Does it form compounds.Greg Ellis from ?.54 x 10-14 J  4. including hydroxyl load-bearing ions. at least those sold to high school students. it forms neurotic bonds with any positively charged particle. like surprise oxide or surprise chloride? Does it have any unusual properties? -.02 MeV  c  Or (another way to do it). Tedium.60 x 10 J  The answers are slightly different because the conversion factors are rounded off.

--CECIL ADAMS  A polonium nucleus of atomic number 84 and mass number 210 decays to a nucleus of lead by the emission of an alpha particle of mass 4. a fabulously fierce FOOMP. Tampa. (The tropopause also forms a ceiling for thunderheads. Florida Cecil replies: Shame on you.5 MeV. producing their anvil shape. Since the fireball is very hot and thus less dense than the surrounding air. In its wake the fireball leaves a column of heated air. we must suppose. just convection. You know I cringe at F-words.0026 atomic mass units and kinetic energy 5. Out of the hole where the igniter was supposed to go there issued a 10-inch mushroom cloud with a stem of fire and a cap of black smoke. The cloud generally can't break through this and the top flattens out. Paul. Dear Cecil: Why do nuclear explosions form a mushroom-shaped cloud? If you would tell me why frantic and furious fusion and fission have a fondness for the fungus form. These form the stalk of the mushroom. Hydrogen bomb explosions are so huge the cloud may reach the tropopause. I would certainly appreciate it. This acts as a chimney. drawing in smoke and hot gases from ground fires. forming the cap of the mushroom cloud. giving the impression that the cap is curling down around the stalk. And. --Paul Smith. Thus the familiar fungal form. i. Mushroom clouds typically occur when an explosion produces a massive fireball. it rises faster than the outer edges. a. producing an especially pronounced mushroom shape. Since the center is the hottest part of the mushroom cloud. One of the Teeming Millions tells me he once set off a carbide noisemaker-type cannon with the igniter mechanism removed. Determine each of the following. The mass number of the lead nucleus Number of Nucleons 210  4  206 528 .) Mushroom clouds aren't necessarily big. the boundary in the atmosphere where a fairly sharp rise in temperature starts. it rises rapidly. You don't need an atom bomb to make a mushroom cloud. The atomic number of the lead nucleus Atomic number is the number of Protons 84  2  82 ii.

64 x 10 kg s The alpha particle is scattered from a gold nucleus (atomic number 79) in a "head-on" collision. Determine the mass difference between the polonium nucleus and the lead nucleus. Determine the speed of the alpha particle. The kinetic energy of the alpha particle is the mass difference of the two nuclei. It is not necessary to actually solve this equation.5MeV    2  1u   931 MeV c   c2  m  0. taking into account the kinetic energy of the alpha particle but ignoring the recoil energy of the lead nucleus.66 x 10 27 kg   1 u  1 m  5.5 MeV     8. The kinetic energy becomes potential energy.0098 x 1027 kg  9.8 x 10 J  1 MeV  1 eV   kg  m  m  2  8.8 x 1030 kg c. E E   m  c 2 m  c2    1.  1 x 106 eV  1.) K  UE 1 2 1 q 1 2  q mv  qV V so mv  q  k  2 4 0 r 2  r Thus 529 .8 x 1013  1 2K  s2  m K  mv 2 v  27  1. At closest approach the kinetic energy becomes zero and the electric potential is maximized and equal to the kinetic energy the particle began with. d.60 x 1019 J  13 K  5. (Throw something up and the kinetic energy is zero while the potential energy is max. Write an equation that could be used to determine the distance of closest approach of the alpha particle to the gold nucleus. b.63 x 107 2 m 6.

a cherry bomb? --CECIL ADAM 530 . in which little atoms (various forms of hydrogen) fuse together to make bigger ones (helium). Wouldn't you be just as happy with. Fusion bombs are a thousand times more powerful than fission bombs. in which big atoms (uranium or plutonium) were split into littler ones in a chain reaction. The original atomic bomb used nuclear fission. essentially the same process that occurs in the sun. which are a million times more powerful than chemical ones. releasing vast amounts of energy.  1  q2 r  2  2  4 0  mv Dear Cecil: What's the difference between a hydrogen bomb and an atomic bomb?! How lethal are they?! please find out!!! --Anonymous Cecil responds: I told you not to buy stuff at those Kiev flea markets. say. The hydrogen bomb employs nuclear fusion.

00 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Li Be B C N O F Ne Lithium Beryllium Periotic Table Boron Carbon Nitrogen Oxygen Fluorine Neon 6.00 19.93 173.91 91.29 55 56 57 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 Cs Ba La Hf Ta W Re Os Ir Pt Au Hg Ti Pb Bi Po At Rn Cesium Barium Lanthanum Hafnium Tantalum Tungsten Rhenium Osmium Iridium Platinum Gold Mercury Thallium Lead Bismuth Polonium Astitane Radon 132.04 174.60 126.59 204.36 151.07 35.22 195.04 231.99 24.91 137.20 192.38 207.33 138.71 121.93 162.97 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 Th Pa U Np Pu Am Cm Bk Cf Es Fm Md No Lr Thorium Protactinium Uranium Neptunium Plutonium Americium Curium Berkelium Californium Einsteinium Fermium Mendelevium Nobelium Lawrencium 232.91 95.01 4.96 47.07 102.92 78.55 65.80 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 Rb Sr Y Zr Nb Mo Tc Ru Rh Pd Ag Cd In Sn Sb Te I Xe Rubidium Strontium Yitrium Zirconium Niobium Molybdenum Technetium Ruthenium Rhodium Palladium Silver Cadmium Indium Tin Antimony Tellurium Iodine Xenon 85.01 16.50 164.85 58.01 10.95 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 K Ca Sc Ti V Cr Mn Fe Co Ni Cu Zn Ga Ge As Se Br Kr Potasium Calcium Scandium Titanium Vanadium Chromium Manganese Iron Cobalt Nickel Copper Zinc Gallium Germanium Arsenic Selenium Bromine Krypton 39.03 (261) (262) (263) (265) (266) 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 Ce Pr Nd Pm Sm Eu Gd Tb Dy Ho Er Tm Yb Lu Cerium Praseodymium Neodymium Promethium Samarium Europium Gadolinium Terbium Dysprosium Holmium Erbium Thulium Ytterbium Lutetium 140.41 114.87 112.00 54.61 74.08 196.26 168.98 28.42 107.95 183.00 20.97 32.81 12.05 (244) (243) (247) (247) (251) (252) (257) (258) (259) (260) 531 .01 14.72 72.49 180.20 208.94 9.18 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Na Mg Al Si P S Cl Ar Sodium Magnesium Aluminum Silicon Phosphorus Sulfur Chlorine Argon 22.97 200.88 50. 1 2 H Official Kahuna Physics Institute He Hydrogen Helium 1.97 157.94 (98) 101.12 140.03 227.91 144.93 167.96 79.24 (145) 150.39 69.90 131.10 40.45 39.09 30.76 127.08 44.25 158.47 87.62 88.69 63.93 58.85 186.82 118.94 55.03 237.94 52.31 26.91 178.04 238.22 92.90 83.91 106.98 (209) (210) (222) 87 88 89 104 105 106 107 108 109 Fr Ra Ac Rf Db Sg Bh Hs Mt Francium Radium Actinium Rutherfordium Dubnium Seaborgium Bohrium Hassium Meitnerium (223) 226.21 190.

AP Physics .unified mass unit.016 049 u m p  1. u 1 1u  mass of C  12 atom 12 1 u  1.007 825 u mn  1.494 MeV  0. Mass difference represents energy released 532 .009106 u    8.007 825 u  2 1.025155 u  3.025155 u Binding E: 3.48218 MeV  1u  Mass of tritium is less than mass of parts.016 049 u  0.008 665 u   3.660 540 x 1027 kg Find Binding E of deuterium Mass of tritium nucleus: 3.Nuclear E Atomic mass unit -.009106 u  931.008 665 u Add masses together: m p  1.

The atomic masses of helium-4 and fermium-252 are 4.67  1027   6.01  107 m s m  6. a.42  10 eV 6  1 eV 12   1. Mass Equivalence: The original nucleus decays into the product particles and energy. How would this affect the atomic number of the nucleus? Explain briefly.6  1019 J   K  8. What is the atomic number of the original unstable nucleus? Z  102 b.68  1027 kg  u   12 kg  m 2 2 1. What is the velocity of the alpha particle? (Neglect relativistic effects for this calculation. Energy Conservation: Potential or binding energy was converted into kinetic energy.6 x 1019 J  44. Each fission produces 208 MeV.8 x 10 nuclei 23  235 g   1 mol  23  208 MeV   106 eV  1.35  10 J    kg  m   4 u  1.8 x 10 nuclei      1 nuclei   1 MeV  1 eV   14 900 x 1010 J  1. d.  1 mol  6. respectively.68  1027 kg  c.particle was produced.08249 u. Calculate the energy released when 1. Where does the kinetic energy of the alpha particle come from? Explain briefly.) 1 K  mv 2 2  1.00260 u and 252.02 x 1023 nuclei  N  1 750 g      44. Suppose that the fermium-252 nucleus could undergo a decay in which a .35  10   s 2  v 2K    2.42 MeV.49 x 1014 J  An unstable nucleus that is initially at rest decays into a nucleus of fermium-252 containing 100 protons and 152 neutrons and an alpha particle that has a kinetic energy of 8. 533 .05 kg of U-235 undergoes fission.

 1  106 eV  1.60  1019 J  13 K  5.8  1030 kg c  931. E 5. Determine the speed of the alpha particle.5 2    9. i. The atomic number of the lead nucleus Number of Protons 84  2  82 ii. Determine each of the following.8  10 J  1 MeV  1 eV  1 2K K  mv 2 v 2 m 534 .5 MeV     8. The kinetic energy of the alpha particle is the mass difference of the two nuclei.5 MeV   c 2   g.) e. (1 u = 931. Atomic number increases by one. taking into account the kinetic energy of the alpha particle but ignoring the recoil energy of the lead nucleus. Determine the mass difference between the polonium nucleus and the lead nucleus.5 MeV. A neutron converts into a proton and an electron. The mass number of the lead nucleus Number of Nucleons 210  4  206 f.5MeV E   m  c 2 m   m  c2 c2   MeV  1. 252 100 Fm  252 101 Md  0 1 e  A polonium nucleus of atomic number 84 and mass number 210 decays to a nucleus of lead by the emission of an alpha particle of mass 4.66  10 kg  27 m  5.66 x 10-27 kg. A classical (nonrelativistic) approximation is adequate.0026 atomic mass units and kinetic energy 5.5 MeV/c2 = 1.

Write an equation that could be used to determine the distance of closest approach of the alpha particle to the gold nucleus.8  1013   1.v  2 8. h.63  107 m s 27 6. KE become UE) KE  U E 1 2 1  q mv  qV mv 2  q  k  2 2  r q2 r  2k 2 mv 535 . It is not necessary to actually solve this equation. At closest approach KE goes to zero and electric potential goes to max (Throw something up and KE is zero while PE is max. i.64  10 The alpha particle is scattered from a gold nucleus (atomic number 79) in a "head-on" collision.

physics was in a terrible fix. blighter that you are. What was the problem? Well. they would emit light. Thus as the electrons were accelerated towards the nucleus. It doesn’t matter what the object is made from. as you read this. The frequency of the emitted electromagnetic waves is a function of temperature – and only temperature. You. Model Unfortunately for classical physics. just like the planets circle the sun. Unfortunately. they should radiate photons of light. this does not happen. In about 10-9 seconds the electron would spiral into the nucleus. orbits. have done this your entire life! People mostly emit long wavelength infrared. The army has these night vision scopes that detect the IR signature given off by humanoids. Classical physics had gotten quite good at dealing with motion. You. Okay? At the turn of the century. accelerating it towards the nucleus. This is a fact of nature. This would cause them to lose energy. The problem was this: accelerated electrons emitted light. thus enabling the soldier to “see” in the dark. the higher the frequency (and the shorter the wavelength) of the emitted electromagnetic wave. are quite happily emitting massive numbers of photons from all over your body into the universe. Actually they seem quite capable of hanging around for billions of years. etc. Newtonian physics. Black Body Problem: All objects in the universe constantly emit electromagnetic waves. it was with the behavior of electrons. the rotten electrons did not oblige the physicists with doing what it was supposed to be doing. Clearly something was going on with the behavior of electrons that did not fit into classical kinematics. This force is caused by the charge difference between the positive nucleus and the negative electron. This meant that atoms as we know Rutherford’s them could not exist in a stable state.AP Physics – Quantum Mechanics All of this section is stuff that you want to pay attention to. 536 . The higher the temperature of the body. According to classical. and so on. a centripetal force acts on the electron. A physicist could sit down and figure out exactly what and where an electron should be doing. move closer to the nucleus as their orbit gets smaller. but fortunately for the universe. which would give them a smaller orbit. The electrons circled the nucleus in orbits. Atoms actually do manage to hang around for times in excess of a billionth of a second. Ernest Rutherford pictured the atom as a sort of miniature solar system.

acting independently of gravity. the higher the frequency of the emitted photons. So what’s the deal? The interior of the ball behaves as if were a black body . even though we know that it is actually white. Imagine that you have a hollow object – any hollow object will do. This is seen in stars and planets. (One definition of classical physics is that it deals with elephants with zero volume. Below is a graph made up of the emissions from a blackbody at three different temperatures. Planets. 537 . Visible light is absorbed and does not get out. no friction. In fact the only radiation that does comes out of the hole from the inside of the thing is infrared. but it has a greater value than the one for the higher temperature – the wavelength of the emitted radiation is longer. At the turn of the century physicists were looking at “black bodies”. The 3 000 K curve also has a peak wavelength. A black body is one of those ideal things that physicists love to invent. Also of course. Planets can be treated as black bodies as well. The 2 000 K curve’s peak wavelength is much smaller in amplitude and longer in wavelength.it absorbs just about all the electromagnetic waves that enter it. The area under the curve represents the total radiation. Okay? Got it? Now you make a small hole in the ball. Each curve has a peak wavelength – this is the wavelength at which most of the energy is emitted. Do you think that is fair?) The black body is defined as an object that absorbs all the light that is incident on it. they can only manage infrared. the greater their energy. don’t even emit visible light. the whole looks black. you now look into the hole – what do you see? Well. which are very cool. Intensity Wavelength The general rule is that the intensity and frequency of emitted radiation increases with temperature. Thus does the stupid hole in the ball behave as a black body. and the hottest stars give off blue light. It’s white on the outside and white on the inside because it’s made of white plastic.for a given temperature it will emit a given frequency of light. which means that it has a lower frequency. The infrared is emitted because of the temperature of the ball. Its frequency is lower as well. warmer stars give off yellow light. Cool stars give off mostly red light. The inside of the ball looks black. Stars are considered to be black bodies (even though they certainly aren’t black). For 4 000 K you can see that the amount of radiation is much greater than for the lower temperature curves. Let’s say you have a white plastic ball. Having done that.

except that the made his law work. the cobbled up thing actually worked! Planck believed that the quanta were merely an artificial. He eventually got the job done. It’s value is: h  6. which everyone knew was a wave. mathematical device without reality that just happened to make his equation yield accurate results. very bad indeed. You can see that this does not happen. The curve shows that as the wavelength gets close to zero. In fact the old theory predicts that the intensity of the emitted radiation will approach infinity as the wavelength nears zero. and h is known as Planck's constant. well.55 x 1017 Hz? 538 .14  1015 eV  s You will have both of these values when you take the AP Physics test. physicists were forced to abandon the laws of Newton and develop a new theory that would explain the data. he was able to explain the blackbody radiation curve and calculate accurate energy for emitted radiation. the intensity also approaches zero. but as the wavelength decreases (and the frequency increases). E is energy. This is one of your basic contradictions.63 x 1034 J  s or h  4. Max Planck (1858-1947) was a German physicist who spent a great many years trying to puzzle out this problem. was actually made up of little “packets” of energy (which everyone knew was not true). that time is here) is: E  hf Here.  What energy is carried by a photon of electromagnetic radiation that has a frequency of 1. he had to assume that the radiation. classical mechanics’ predictions become very bad. but to get his law to work.Classical mechanics cannot explain these curves. Planck was trying to find a fundamental law that would describe the energy emitted by blackbodies. It works for the long wavelengths. Planck’s equation (which we have seen before – remember that the Physics Kahuna promised to revisit it. In other words. The theory that came out of this is known as quantum mechanics. There was no evidence for the quanta. f is the frequency. Since classical mechanics cannot explain what actually happens. Using this cobbled up thing. He called these packets quanta (singular) and quantum Intensity Classical Theory Planck’s Theory Wavelength (plural).

 1
E  hf  6.63 x 1034 J s  1.55 x 1017   10.3 x 1017 J  1.03 x 1016 J
 s

The energy of a photon can also be calculated as a function of wavelength. Wavelength is related
to frequency by:

v f This is the equation for the speed of the wave.

c hc
v f so c   f f  E  hf E
 

hc
E

You won’t be provided with this equation, so you need to be able to get there on your own.

 A photon has a wavelength of 550 nm. How much energy does this represent in Joules?

c hc
v f so c   f f  E  hf E
 
 
6.63 x 1034 J s 3.00 x 103
m
s
E  0.036 x 1022 J  3.6 x 1024 J

550 x 109 m 
Since the value of Planck’s constant multiplied by the speed of light is itself a constant, we can treat
hc as a constant. (Save us some work!) Two such values, using different units, will be provided to
you on the AP Test:

hc  1.99 x 1025 J  m

hc  1.24 x 103 eV  nm

This makes solving the above problem a lot easier. To wit:

c hc 1.99 x 1025 J  m
v f f  E  hf    3.6 x 1024 J
  550 x 109 m

Planck's theory came to be called the quantum theory and proved so important, that it is
considered to be a watershed in science. All physics before Planck’s equation is called classical
physics and all physics afterwards is known as modern physics.

539

But what did all this mean?

Momentum and Light: You need to be able to calculate the momentum of a photon as a
function of its frequency or wavelength. Okay, let’s do a typical problem.

The momentum for a photon is given by this equation:

E  hf  pc

 What is the momentum of a photon that has a wavelength of 455 nm?

c hc hc
v f f  E  hf  E  pc pc 
  
h kg  m  s 
2
1 
p  6.63 x 1034  6 
 s2  455 x 10 m 

kg  m kg  m
p  0.0146 x 1028  1.46 x 1026
s s

Photons and Power of a Source: Imagine that you have a source of light that is rated
at a certain power level. It produces photons of only one frequency. So, how many photons per
second would it produce?

This is pretty simple. Power is simply the rate that energy is produced. The energy is in the form
of photons. All you have to do is calculate the amount of energy produced in one second. Then
determine the amount to energy one photon represents. Then divide the total energy by the energy
per photon. This gives you the number of photons in a second. That last part is really just a
dimensional analysis problem, ain’t it?

Okay, here’s a problem. Let’s go for it.

 A 505 nm light source produces 0.250 W. How many photons per second does it kick out?

E J
P E  Pt  0.250 1.00 s   0.250 J
t s

c hc
v f f  E  hf 
 
25
1.99 x 10 J  m
E  0.00394 x 1019 J  3.94 x 1022 J
505 x 106 m

540

 
 1 
0.250 J    0.0635 x 1022 photons  6.35 x 1020 photons
 3.94 x 1022 J 
 
 photon 

Photoelectric Effect: Towards the end of the 19th Century (in 1887 to be exact) Heinrich
Hertz discovered that certain metals would emit electrons when light was incident on them. This
was the first instance of light interacting with matter and was very mysterious. In 1905 Albert
Einstein, a 3rd Class Technical Expert in the Swiss Patent Office, the obscure physicist (although he
was not a physicist at the time, he was a bureaucrat) mentioned before, published a paper which
provided the explanation for the effect. The light was actually made up of small particles - Planck’s
little bundles of energy he called the quanta. These particles are now called photons.
The surface electrons were bound to the metal with a small amount of energy. Some of the incident
photons would enter the surface, smack into atoms of the metal and be totally absorbed. They
would give their energy to an electron, which, if the absorbed energy was great enough, could then
break free from the atom. You can think of the photoelectric effect as being the result of collisions
between photons and electrons, which knock the electrons out of the metal.

The amount of energy binding the electrons to the metal is called the work function. The symbol
for this is the Greek letter .

  Work Function

Recall that:

E  hf This is the energy of the photon.

The electron that has been knocked out of the metal has some amount of kinetic energy. This
kinetic energy has to be less than the photon’s energy because some of the energy added to the
system was used to break the electron free of the metal (this amount of energy is given by the work
function). So the photon has to provide more energy than the work function if the electron is to be
set free.

The maximum kinetic energy that an electron can have is just the difference between the energy of
the work function (the energy that binds the electron to the metal) and the energy of the photon.

K Max  hf  

This equation will be provided to you on the AP Physics Test.

Each metal has its own value for the work function. A handsome table of such values for selected
metals has been helpfully provided to you.

541

a function of its frequency or wavelength.Lauren Grace from Toledo. Laser light is Aluminum (Al) 4. Lead (Pb) 4.28 Normal light is comprised of zillions of photons. everyone is just playing Tetris on their office computers Platinum (Pt) 6.31 futon. Work Function for some What is a laser beam made of? Different Metals -. Science often gives the prosaic a Silver (Ag) 4. but the kinetic energy of the electrons will all be limited to the same value (the maximum kinetic energy). So when we want to find the value for the frequency we get: c v f so c  f  f   we can substitute this into the Planck’s equation and get: c hc E  hf E  h     You can then plug this into the photoelectric equation for the energy term: hc K Max  hf   K Max    Of course.Dear Doctor Science. which is just a fancy oriental term for Zinc (Zn) 4.70 the side. The intensity of the light – how “strong” the beam is. As in retail advertising. The intensity is really a measure of the number of photons that will be incident on the surface in a given amount of time. What was strange about all this is that the effect is based on the energy of the photons. which are fat. Science responds: Sodium (Na) 2. but only if the frequency of the photons is high enough.73 new name to make it seem like things are really happening when. More intense light will dislodge more electrons. you will increase the photocurrent because there will be more photons hitting the metal to knock loose more electrons.14 Iron (Fe) 4. So if the frequency is large enough to cause the effect and you increase the intensity. but what about the wavelength of the photon? For some reason physicists are very fond of wavelengths and prefer them frequencies.35 and waiting for lunch.50 Wavelength and the Photoelectric Effect: We have an equation that relates the electron’s energy to frequency. so the current will increase.90 referred to as mu mesons. stuffed photons with a zipper down Copper (Cu) 4. The frequency and wavelength are related by the speed of light. The kinetic energy of the electrons is also independent of the intensity of the light.08 made of futons. 542 . OH Metal Work Function (eV) Dr. does matter. Some have a foam core and these are often mistakenly Cobalt (Co) 3. in fact. Photons which have too low a frequency (or too long a wavelength) will not knock any electrons loose no matter how intense the light is. this equation you will not have for the AP Physics test.

200 eV    0.13 x 1015   4. we find that the work function for zinc is 4.60 x 1019 J  19 K Max  0.200 eV  1.13 x 1015 Hz? K Max  hf      1  4.32 x 10 J  3. This plate is called the emitter (E).31 eV  275 nm K Max  4. The emitter is connected to the negative terminal of a variable dc voltage source and the collector is connected to the positive terminal of the source.2 x 1020 J  1 eV   20 kg  m 2 2  3. c c hc vc f f  E  hf  h      hc 1.025 x 1010  2.24 x 103 eV  nm K Max     4. An ammeter is placed in series with the collector/battery and a voltmeter is placed in parallel with the photoelectric element.00451 x 103 eV  4.7025 x 10 2 11  7.11 x 10 kg m2 m2 m v  0.51 eV  4. A typical circuit is shown below.22 eV  What is the velocity of a photoelectron that has been liberated from a zinc metal surface by a photon that has a wavelength of 275 nm? Consulting the table. We can then solve for their velocity.73 eV  s K Max  8.31 eV  0. What is the maximum kinetic energy of a photoelectron that has been liberated from a silver metal surface by a photon that has a frequency of 3.31 eV. We can use this and the wavelength of the incident photons to find the kinetic energy of the ejected electrons.2 x 10   s 2 1 K  mv 2 v 2K v   31 2 m 9.65 x 105 s s2 s Typical Photoelectric Effect Experiment: A typical laboratory setup for a photoelectric experiment would consist of a metal plate that the light will be incident upon.31 eV  0. Across from the emitter is a plate called the collector (C).14 x 1015 eV  s  3. 543 .

no current is emitted. The electrons are attracted to the positively charged collector and a current is established. 0 . you ought to get a bigger photoelectric current. This maximum wavelength. but the intensity of the light is kept constant. then we get a graph of current VS. It’s another instance where classical physics fell apart. which causes photoelectric electrons to be emitted. is called the photoelectric threshold wavelength. 544 . These represent photons that don’t have enough energy to knock the electrons out of the metal. We can then measure the current and voltage. The amazing thing is that the current does not depend on the intensity of the light. wavelength that looks like this: Current 0 Wavelength Notice that the current is emitted only for wavelengths less than 0. You would think that if you made the light brighter. E C e A V Variable power supply Incident light strikes the emitter. For longer wavelengths. If the wavelength of the incident light is varied. This seems to make no sense.

If V is less than or equal to Vs no electrons reach the collector and all electrons are repelled. At some voltage value. But even for zero voltage on the collector. The energy it gains is equal to the potential energy the electron starts with. but only for wavelengths that cause the photoelectric effect. no photoelectric current would flow no matter how large the intensity. some current will flow. More and more are turned away and the current falls off. we also see an increase in the current. So at the stopping potential. If the intensity is increased. Current below. For a great many wavelengths. some will still make it. The greater the intensity of the light. The stopping potential is independent of the intensity of the light! The electron is accelerated through the electric field between the collector and emitter. The equation for this energy is in the Electricity and Magnetism section of the equation sheet. It is given as U E  qV . but as the voltage gets more negative it becomes harder and harder for the electrons to bridge the gap. But what happens if you make the collector’s voltage negative instead of positive? The electrons will be repelled from the collector. If the voltage is small. the incident waves would provide the energy to knock the electrons out of the metal. none of the electrons make it to the collector and current is zero. High Intensity Current Low Intensity   VS Applied Voltage At Vs the current stops completely. Current does depend on intensity.According to classical physics. This is shown in a graph of Voltage VS. Effect of Collector Voltage: If the positive voltage on the collector is increased we soon get a maximum amount of current. Vs is called the stopping potential. But this didn’t happen. We can write: K Max  qV Note here that KMax is also independent of the intensity of the light! 545 . the more electrons ought to be knocked loose. the potential energy of the electrons is equal the maximum kinetic energy.

we see it has a straight line. The minimum frequency is called the cutoff frequency.If we look at a graph of frequency VS. The photons with a frequency less than fC don’t have enough energy to dislodge the electrons from the metal. The value for the cutoff frequency is simply the intercept on the x axis. The equation for kinetic energy as a function of frequency is: K Max  hf   This is a linear equation and the values for it can be found from the graph. Planck’s constant. The slope of the graph is h. So we use the max kinetic energy equation.   K Max  hf   hf   f  fC  h h So the cutoff frequency is:  fC  h 546 . The minimum frequency occurs when the kinetic energy is zero. There is a minimum frequency before the electrons have any kinetic energy. KE f fc Finding the Cutoff Frequency: The cutoff frequency is the minimum frequency that will generate photoelectrons. kinetic energy.

The electrons travel toward a negatively charged cathode and complete the circuit shown above. K Max  qV   K Max  1.5 eV  1. 1 K  mv 2 2  19 kg  m 2 2  7. (a) For the electrons emitted from the sodium surface. i.182 x 103 nm  182 nm K Max   4. The maximum kinetic energy. so 547 .5 V   7.24 x 103 eV  nm    0. The potential difference supplied by the power supply is increased.5 V.2 x 1019 J or  1 eV  K Max  7. c c hc E  hf c f f  E  h      c c  c  K Max  h  K Max    h   h     K Max    hc 1. no electrons reach the cathode.5 eV  2.60 x 10 J  ii.6 x 1019 C  4. and when it reaches 4.26 x 106 m 31 m 9. K Max  hf   But K Max  0 for the minimum frequency.3 eV (c) Calculate the minimum frequency of light that will cause photoemission from this sodium surface. The speed at this maximum kinetic energy.2 x 1019 J  19   4. A sodium photoelectric surface with work function 2.2 x 10   s 2 v 2K     1.11 x 10 kg s (b) Calculate the wavelength of the radiation that is incident on the sodium surface.3 eV is illuminated by electromagnetic radiation and emits electrons. calculate the following.

Recall that the work function is the minimum energy needed to break an electron out of the metal’s surface. which is the minimum frequency. when we plug in our values.55 x 1014 Hz 4.555 x 1015 Hz  5. eventually. (a) work function: c c hc E  hf c f f  E  h      hc hc hc K Max   K Max  qV qV     qV    Now.48 eV  0. The stopping potential is found to be 0.70 eV Note that this wavelength is much smaller than visible light.24 x 103 eV  nm   e  0. This will get us eV as a unit.440 eV  2.440 eV 500 nm   2.14 x 1015 eV  s  What is the cutoff wavelength for a copper metal surface? hc 1. K Max  hf   0  hf     hf  500. so no photoelectric effect for copper with visible light – this would have to be like ultraviolet light. The frequency is the cutoff wavelength.3 eV f   0. we will stick in the symbol “e” for the charge of an electron.440 V   0.00248 x 103 eV  0. (a) Find the work function for this material and (b) the longest wavelength that will eject electrons from the metal.24 x 103 eV  nm C    0. 1. set the kinetic energy to zero as above and solve for .264 x 103 nm  264 nm  4. Finding the Work Function: To find the work function.04 eV 548 .  0  hf   hf   f  h 2.440 V.0 nm light is incident on a metal surface.

The higher the frequency. As you can see. At the stopping potential. At the cutoff frequency.00608 x 103 nm  608 nm 204 eV Stuff Classical Mechanics or Wave Theory Cannot Explain:  No electrons are emitted if the light frequency falls below some cutoff frequency. the intercept on the x axis represents the stopping potential for the cutoff frequency. the energy of the electron is equal to the electron charge times the voltage. the total energy is equal to the work function.(b) longest wavelength Set the maximum kinetic energy equal to zero to get the longest wavelength.24 x 103 eV  nm   0. fC  Maximum kinetic energy is independent of the light intensity  The electrons are emitted almost instantaneously  KEMax increases with increasing frequency as it is function of hf  Happens so fast because it is a one to one photon/electron deal Stopping Potential versus frequency: Stopping potential is a function of frequency. so we can plug in “e” for the electron’s charge and write the equation as: 549 . This is the potential energy gained by an electron in the field at the stopping potential. so: hf  qV q is the charge of an electron. the higher the stopping potential. On the following graph stopping potential is plotted along the y axis while frequency is along the x axis. hc hc hc hc K Max   0        1. so   hf So you can find the work function if the cutoff frequency is known. E  qV But this energy has to equal the energy of the photon.

Electrons are ejected from the surface. what is the maximum kinetic energy of the ejected photoelectrons? 550 . A reverse potential is applied in the circuit and adjusted until the current drops to zero.0 volts. producing a current in a circuit. Vs f fc threshold frequency or cutoff frequency AP Test Item: In a photoelectric experiment. For a frequency of light that has a stopping potential of 3. h/e is simply the slope of the graph. That potential at which the current drops to zero is called the stopping potential. hf  eV solving for h/e h V  e f Thus. light is incident on a metal surface. a. The data obtained for a range of frequencies are graphed below.

4 x 1034 J  s or 1 5 x 1014 s h V2  V1 2V  0V e2 V    h e f 2  f1 10  51014 Hz 5 x 1014 1 s e2 V  h  0. The graph is a straight line so: y  mx  b Plug in the values on the graph for the terms in the straight line equation: h y  mx  b Vs  f b eVs  hf  b e But eVs is KMax K Max  hf  b so y intercept is work function  This is 2.6 x 1019 C  2 V  0 V    h e 10  5 1014 Hz 10  51014 Hz 3.2 x 1019 J h  0. From the graph and the value of the electron charge.Set the maximum kinetic energy equal to the potential energy gained by the electrons in the electric field at the stopping potential.40 x 1014 eV  s  4. From the graph. K Max  qV  e  3.64 x 1033 J  s  6. determine an experimental value for Planck's constant.0 eV 551 .0 V   3. h Slope of graph is: e h 2V  0V 1. determine the work function for the metal.0 eV b.0 x 1015 eV  s 1 5 x 1014 s b.

0 x 1014 hertz. which is just a fancy oriental term for futon.Lauren Grace from Toledo. draw the expected graph for a different metal surface with a threshold frequency of 6. Dear Doctor Science.d. Some have a foam core and these are often mistakenly referred to as mumesons. What is a laser beam made of? -. On the axes above. Science responds: Normal light is comprised of zillions of photons. in fact. OH Dr. which are fat. stuffed photons with a zipper down the side. 552 . everyone is just playing Tetris on their office computers and waiting for lunch. Laser light is made of futons. As in retail advertising. Science often gives the prosaic a new name to make it seem like things are really happening when.

which boils electrons off a filament. they experience a force perpendicular to both the magnetic field and to the particle's direction of motion (F = qv x B. You turn on a powerful electric field. if you have an up-down magnetic field. such that the negative electric potential is always just behind where your electrons are. The more particles you have in the beam. The main tool for accelerating particles is powerful electric fields. Tucson. As the electrons get there. but usually you use an electromagnet). AZ Cecil replies: Jeez. Of course the process is a little more sophisticated than I've described. and hope for the best. but how can they make two atoms line up correctly and hit each other at such incredible velocities? Also how do they ensure that there are no other atoms besides the ones the are colliding inside the track? --Ryan. the particle will turn to the left or right. if you're going to slam only two particles together at a time. A particle accelerator isn't the delicate instrument you imagine--it's more akin to a fire hose. and the electrons rush there. you need a lot of electric fields and magnets. Thus. you can create one with permanent magnets. cross your fingers. then use some fancy particle selection techniques to separate the wheat from the chaff. Where do magnets come in? They have two purposes: to steer the beam and to focus it.Dear Straight Dope: How does a particle accelerator work? I know it has something to do with huge magnets.) Let's say you're accelerating electrons (which are negatively charged). To accelerate your particles. To get other types particles. and the particles are moving forward. whose atoms consist of one proton plus one electron. Obviously you need to steer your beam so that it collides with something. But we're getting ahead of ourselves. you modulate your electric fields sinusoidally. the better chance you have that you'll get a collision that produces exciting new particles. The electrons sort of surf down the beam line on the electric field modulation wave. as it were. you turn off the first electric field and turn on another one downstream. and the more tightly bundled the particles are. Instead of turning on and off the electric fields. (We'll get to the powerful magnets in a bit. for you scientist- types). You keep doing this until your electrons are rushing like blazes and you've achieved the electron speed you desire. You can get electrons from a device called an electron gun. The idea is to aim billions and billions of particles at billions and billions of other particles. and the electrons rush to positive potential. Stanford's linear accelerator is two 553 . An electron gun is basically the same device you have in the back of your TV or your computer monitor. but there are other difficulties as well. you need to smash your accelerated protons or electrons into something else in order to produce other particles. To steer the beam you set up a dipole magnetic field (a dipole field is a regular uniform magnetic field. you're going to be the absolute worst accelerator physicist ever. The first step in operating a particle accelerator is coming up with some particles to accelerate. When charged particles cross a magnetic field. and a lot of room for your particles to build up speed. stripping the electrons off of) hydrogen gas. depending on its charge. and the positive electric potential always just in front. You can get protons by ionizing (that is.

Finally you've got to steer the beam so it smashes into something. Then you start accelerating the positrons and electrons. 554 . and when you have X-rays being sprayed off all around your accelerator. smash them into a fixed target. If you get a chance. you've got a shielding nightmare. and collect any positrons resulting from this interaction. such that if a particle is straying to the right. You want your particles to be in as tight a beam as possible. it gets steered a little to the right. To steer your particles around the ring you'll need powerful magnets. and (c) most all the products of the particle interaction will be moving in a very definite forward direction. The two smashing methods are fixed target and colliding beams. for some very interesting physics effects. These focusing magnets have specialized magnetic fields. Since you are typically trying to convert energy into massive particles (via E = mc2). (They surf the same electric field waves. A higher concentration of particles means a higher probability that a couple of them will smash directly into each other. which cost a lot to operate. it gives off energy in the form of synchrotron radiation (powerful X-rays). For colliding beams. they will start to repel each other. more energy is better. It's really huge. two miles' worth of beam pipe. most people don't have two miles to donate to particle acceleration (and you'd need a lot more than two miles to accelerate protons.miles long! That means two miles' worth of magnets. radiation shielding. if you get my drift. you first accelerate some regular electrons. where they can pass by the same electric fields thousands of times. (The HERA accelerator at DESY in Germany is unique in that it collides electrons or positrons with protons. a target which is just sitting there does not bring any kinetic energy into the equation. tunnel. the magnet steers it a little to the left. In a linear accelerator. you slam a beam of particles into some stationary chunk of matter. you typically smash particles into their antiparticles. For fixed target. two miles' worth of vacuum. but if the particle is straying to the left. You have to compensate for this energy loss with more and bigger electric fields. you accelerate the positrons in a bunch just behind the electrons. That brings us to the other particle smashing method. This generally takes a few minutes.) In a ring accelerator. For focusing you use quadrapole magnets. The disadvantages are that chunks of matter pretty much only provide protons and neutrons to smash into--the electrons aren't concentrated enough to be consequential--and there are certainly no anti-protons or positrons (anti-electrons). so you can easily build detectors in the forward region to detect them. The main disadvantage of a ring accelerator is that every time you steer a charged particle. etc. but they surf up instead of down. In addition. However.) For example. you reuse your accelerator components by moving your particles around a ring accelerator. you're golden because the same accelerator elements that steer electrons clockwise automatically steer positrons counter clockwise. take a tour of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center--they'll let you stand in the access gallery and you can look up and down the two-mile-long facility. And impressive. which are 2000 times heavier than electrons). Also. colliding beams. The other way magnets come into play is in focusing the beam. electricity. to create positrons (anti-electrons). particularly if you're trying to slam them into another beam. and naturally make the beam larger. The advantages of the fixed target method are: (a) it's easier to aim the beam at a large non-moving target. Typically. if you try to cram a bunch of electrons together. (b) lots and lots of protons are available in chunks of matter.

and the length of a needle. Legends and sketchy reports have it that objects could be transported from place to place by the use of strong magnetic fields. there are talented accelerator physicists everywhere. Is this true? --John H. Norfolk.The advantage of colliding beams is you get lots of energy from both beams. That means you have to build a detector that completely surrounds the collision site (typically called a 4 detector). apparently successful. to 555 . or at any rate at these fine accelerators: Cornell Electron Storage Ring (CESR). The Philadelphia Experiment supposedly involved the use of magnetism to bend light rays and thus make objects invisible. was the development of the atomic bomb. Even the author of one of the better-known books about the Philadelphia Experiment has backed off on his more outrageous claims. Navy during World War II as one of the three "city projects. -----Cecil Adams Dear Cecil: I have long been interested in the "Philadelphia Experiment." which was supposedly conducted by the U. John. which is expensive. the letters told of a U. I grew up around Portsmouth. of course. Betcha they store the giant magnets right next to the Roswell alien spacecraft. Virginia. Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC). so particle debris gets sprayed all over. and European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). when someone variously identifying himself as Carlos Allende or Carl Allen wrote several strange letters to a UFO writer named Morris Jessup. The other disadvantage is that it is very difficult to steer two beams directly into each other. Beams are typically the diameter of a human hair." The Manhattan Project. Virginia Cecil replies: Right. Navy destroyer that in October 1943 had been subjected to a force field in an effort.999% the speed of light! Fortunately. so you can create lots of exciting particles. and have long heard rumors that the degaussing facility at the mouth of the western branch of the Elizabeth River was the "receiver" facility for this project. although he still maintains an experiment of some kind did take place. Filled with misspellings and stylistic eccentricities. and that a destroyer was briefly transported here before being returned to the Philadelphia Navy Yard. The whole thing first came to light in the mid-1950s. One disadvantage is that collisions occur in the center of mass.S. Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab)). Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY).S. You try smashing together two beams that size going 99. another world-shattering secret that the military has managed to keep hushed up for 50 years..

and back. I might get around to it one of these days. Radar doesn't work underwater. --CECIL ADAMS 556 . Right now the only proven way to make ships disappear is budget cuts. In the meantime purge yourself of any thoughts of invisible warships. Instead. Elbridge. Since this had a decidedly negative effect on morale. A Navy historian sensibly points out there's no such thing as a radar-guided torpedo. The idea was to feed a high-power. Or so the letter writer claimed. I might have to wash my hair that night. says it has no knowledge of any such experiment. The book.) And Moore still doesn't have much documentary evidence. so finding the right stuff could be a bit of a project.S.make it invisible. all within a matter of minutes. supposedly in an effort to foil radar-guided torpedoes that the Germans were believed to be developing. Moore says R&D records take up "a mile and a half of shelf space" and aren't indexed. Unfortunately. the Navy halted the experiments and hushed up the whole affair. unsurprisingly. the experiment also had the side effect of rendering half the officers and crew insane. But the initial experiment had unintended side effects on the crew. But received its fullest treatment in The Philadelphia Experiment by William L. If it exists. Somehow the ship was also teleported from the Philadelphia Navy Yard to Norfolk. but it's still got some holes in it. both he and the Navy agree it's in the National Archives in Washington. with some of the crewmen unpredictably becoming invisible or bursting into flame years later. but I dunno.S. ranging from nausea to hallucinations and loss of consciousness. which homed in on the sound of a ship's engines. Cecil spoke with William Moore and found he no longer believes the Philadelphia Experiment involved invisibility or teleportation. The hallucinations were the basis for the wild tales that later arose. The Navy. (The Germans used acoustic torpedoes. Moore with Charles Berlitz (1979). something people understood even back in 1943. This version is a lot less implausible than the original yarn. Virginia. low-frequency current into the ship's hull. in effect making it into a radar antenna that would jam incoming radar. which was the basis for a 1984 movie. further research has convinced Moore it was part of an effort by the Navy to make ships radar-proof. but offered no hard evidence. claimed the ship involved was the U. The story was taken up by various writers over the years.

When electric current was passed through the cathode. it must lose a large amount of energy. sweat over. To do this. This is a large. it gave off electrons. Wilhelm Roentgen (1845-1923) discovered x-rays. part of the old electromagnetic spectrum. There’s lots more stuff for you to study. an outer-shell electron must drop down and fill the vacant energy shell. imprint on your brain.1 nm. Anyway.More Important Stuff: If you thought that this section of the handout was over. This is called thermonic emission. typically in excess of 105 eV. these electrons are then accelerated to a high velocity with an electric field. x-ray Production: x-rays. This is the x-ray region of the good old electromagnetic spectrum. When this happens. Typical wavelengths would be between 0. TV picture tubes and computer monitors are basically cathode ray tubes. But where do they Target come from? One source. Roentgen of course didn’t know that this would happen. This energy is emitted in the form of a high-energy photon. you are sadly mistaken. long glass tube that is evacuated so that there is a vacuum on the inside of the thing. and be all around concerned with. So here we go. worry about. What he did notice was that a phosphorescent screen several feet from his tube began to glow brightly when the 557 . What happens is that x-rays the electron collides with one of the metal atoms. The electron has enough energy to remove one of the inner-shell electrons.001 and 0. He basically constructed a cathode ray tube. and this is how they were first discovered. The high velocity electrons collide with a metal target atoms and x-rays are given off. you will recall. High Voltage are a group of electromagnetic waves. Typical potential difference in such a tube would be around 30 000 to 100 000 V. is from bombarding a metal surface Filament with high energy electrons. Anyway. master. at one end of the tube was a small filament called a cathode.

acting like a particle. it was dangerous to sit too close to a TV set. which heads off at some angle  to the photon’s original path. So what happened to cause this energy to be lost? Compton figured that the photon. has a collision with an electron in a carbon atom. Arthur Compton aimed an x-ray beam at a chunk of graphite. The energy of the scattered photons was less than the incident photons – because the wavelength was longer. initially at rest. right? The change in wavelength is called the Compton shift. gains energy. not realizing that they were producing massive amounts of x-rays. Before they began doing this. the scattered photons had a longer wavelength than the incident photons!   Scattered photon The drawing above shows what happens. x-rays are produced by TV tubes and computer monitors as well. The critical thing is that the photon ends up with a longer wavelength after the collision. x meaning “unknown”. 558 . and the electron. Since he didn’t know what it was. The photon is scattered as well and head off at some angle  to its original path. Energy and momentum must be conserved. The glass on the face of the tubes contain lead. Many physics teachers in the past had cathode ray tubes that they would use for demonstrations. These days it’s okay – it only hurts your eyes. The energy gained by the electron is equal to the energy lost by the photon. it comes from the incident photon.tube was lit off. He concluded that some very penetrating type of radiation was being given off. An amazing thing took place. That energy has to come from something and it does. This was in 1923. which absorbs x-rays. he called them “x-rays”. The glow continued even when he stuck a piece of wood between the tube and the screen. An incoming photon has a collision with an electron. AP Physics – Quantum Mechanics Part 2 The photon theory received further support from the discovery of the Compton effect.

then particles ought to demonstrate some wave characteristics. would have matter-waves of such ultra-short wavelength.  Energy and momentum are conserved. that it would be impossible to detect. don’t it) Victor De Broglie (1892-1987) suggested just that. But the wavelength of a small. so its wavelength must increase (the frequency gets smaller. Wavelength of Particle: We can now develop an equation for the wavelength of a particle.  The photon loses energy. This was stunning proof for the photon theory of light. It seems odd that a photon could have momentum since it has zero mass. photons do indeed have momentum. This was substantial evidence for the wave-like behavior of matter. All matter behaves as both a particle and a wave.e. Wave Properties of Particles: In 1905 Albert Einstein showed that waves behaved like particles. But according to special relativity.. Fair is fair! The wavelength of a massive particle. The momentum of a particle is: 559 . like a baseball. In 1927 an American physicist. So we now have an equation for the momentum of a photon. Clinton Davisson (1892-1975) did just that. This was very disconcerting – how could a wave be both a particle and a wave? But what about the opposite thing? Could matter (which is what particles are) exhibit wave-like properties? In 1923 (seems like a busy year. the photon acts like particle. high-speed particle such as an electron ought to be long enough that it could be measured. lower energy).  In a collision. hc The energy of a photon is of course: E  hf   The photon’s wavelength can be expressed as a function of its momentum: h  p This equation is provided on the AP Physics Test equation sheet. if not symmetrical.Since the photon has lost energy. And he got Einstein to support him!. It seemed logical. to De Broglie that if waves had particle characteristics. i. its wavelength must increase. He found that a beam of fast electrons could be diffracted and refracted.  The electron gets some of the photon’s energy and momentum.  Serves as valid proof of photon theory.

485 x 109 m  4. one that would be impossible to measure. h  mv You will be expected to be able to calculate the wavelength of a particle.85 x 109 m This wavelength we can measure. 560 .50 x 106 m/s. but it’s a pretty simple thing to do.11 x 1031 kg 1.2 kg rock thrown at a speed of 22 m/s.5 x 1035 m 1.  34 kg  m  m   6.50 x 106   m s   0. p  mv We now plug this value into the equation for the momentum of a photon and see what happens: h h   p mv This gives us an expression for the wavelength of a particle. h h p  mv   p mv kg  m  m  s 6. but will not be given this equation.63 x 1034  s2  0. Countless experiments have been done which have shown the wave nature of matter. don’t you think?  Find the wavelength of a 1.626 x 10 2 s    h s  mv    9.  Calculate de Broglie wavelength for an electron moving at 1. So prepare thyself to the thing all on your own.25 x 1034 m  2.2 kg   22 ms    This is a very small wavelength.

The same thing was found when a continuous spectrum of light was sent through a sample of a gas.The reason that we do not notice matter behaving as a wave is because the wavelength’s of ordinary matter are incredibly small. This is done on that CSI show all the time. way too small too measure. Why? Allligning slits Emission spectrum Light source Spectroscope Light from the sun and from stars was a continuous spectrum – the light ran all the way from red light of long wavelength to violet light with a short wavelength. A beam of electrons was aimed at a chunk of nickel crystal in a vacuum. it would give off light and slow down. At the turn of the century. but he used a simple prism. The light that emerged from the gas would also have some of these dark lines. The diffraction pattern was used to measure the wavelength of the electrons. Actually this was one of Newton’s discoveries. Here’s one of them. 561 . Davisson-Germer Experiment: Another experiment that demonstrated the wave nature of electrons was the Davisson-Germer experiment. we can explore the atom itself and try to understand how it works. We can identify elements in stars and elements in unknown substances. which was found to be equal to the wavelength calculated using De Broglie’s equation. It is only when we get down to the scale of subatomic particles that this wave behavior becomes something that we can actually observe taking place. With this better view of the spectrum. They did not seem to obey Newton’s law. physicists were totally puzzled by the behavior of atoms and electrons. The regularly arranged nickel atoms in the crystal lattice scattered the electrons. Later sophisticated spectroscopes were developed which allowed a really good examination of the spectrum – they spread the colors out more. We Forge Into Quantum Theory: Now that we’ve got into the wave nature of particles like electrons. These missing colors were called "Fraunhofer lines" (named after the dude what discovered them). Here’s what seemed to be happening. This took place in 1927. Each element had its very own emission spectrum. These appeared to be dark lines in the spectrum. When an electron was accelerated. producing a diffraction pattern with minima and maxima. These absorption spectrums are really useful. These came to be called absorption spectrums. it was discovered that there would be places where a certain color was missing.

Above the ground state are a series of discrete allowed energy levels for the electrons.light (although the emitted electromagnetic energy is not limited to visible light. the nail glows . When a gas was heated to incandescence (i. as we said before. It is excited by the flow of current through it. The atom has a minimum energy state which is called its ground state. The electrons instantaneously jump to one of those higher energy levels. and Verner Heisenberg). 562 . As they gain energy.ZAP! …. so the filament can achieve a very high temperature.sort of a dull red glow. and loses the gained energy. the emission lines and the absorption lines occur at the same frequency. When they fall. but only certain wavelengths. Anyway. But as more energy is available (the nail gets hotter) the nail glows brighter and brighter. They have one energy. Red light is the lowest frequency of visible light. (Actually. the electrons (and therefore the atoms) have the least amount of energy they can possibly have. Erwin Schroedinger. and it appears first.they have a new energy level . then ……. infrared light shows up first.e. then orange and then yellow.. These came to be called emission spectrums. In the ground state. the electrons absorb the amount of energy (and only that amount) which is equivalent to one of the allowed energy levels. You would see various bright lines of color – and nothing else. Initially.. The nail absorbs thermal energy. but we can't see it. it is unstable in this higher energy level. When an atom is excited. This is where quantum mechanics comes in. the electrons will make quantum leaps. it doesn't glow very brightly . which has a very high melting point. Once there. the gas would give off light. The energy it lost is released as a photon of electromagnetic radiation. the electrons aren't stable and will fall back down to a lower energy state. It finally appears to be a yellowish white. Here’s the basic idea (which was the product of Niels Bohr. For a given element. Heat a steel nail in a lab burner flame. this causes the atoms in the metal to become excited.it gives off light. we just don't see those). When an electron makes one of these jumps. other frequencies can also be emitted. The filament in a light bulb is made of tungsten. The energy amount that is absorbed or emitted is called a quanta. it has made a quantum leap. They will jump to higher energy levels. The quantum theory does a good job of explaining why objects can give off light when they are heated to a high temperature.Another interesting thing was discovered. (Have you ever watched the program of the same name?) The electron doesn’t stay in the new energy level for long. It glows red. so it glowed). no continuous spectrum of light like from the sun. they release the energy they absorbed in the form of photons of electromagnetic energy .nothing in between. This is a now-you-see-it- now-you-don't kind of deal. the color that is seen changes. Energy levels above that are called excited states.) As the metal becomes hotter and hotter.. A nail will melt at a temperature that finds it glowing yellow. As it does this it falls back down to a lower allowed energy level.

the electrons jump up to higher energy levels. Would you explain? -. This is the light that you see. of course. A tube is filled with a gas at low pressure (the tube is almost a vacuum with just a trace of gas. you only get the lower energy excited states. A half quantum is called a pint. photons that have that energy will be absorbed.Bob Reeves from Las Cruces. and emit visible light photons. From there it's broken down into teaspoons and tablespoons . say neon). See how neat all this is? If an element has a certain set of energy levels that are available to the electrons. This energy excites the gas atoms. so the thing glows in a sort of reddish orange color. The emitted light photons collide with a fluorescent powder that is coated on the inside of the tube. but they do so at a great many wavelengths. Hope this answers your question. and half of that is a microcup. NM Dr. a quantum of nuclear energy is the meson. Four quanta do make a gallon. I always thought it was some kind of track event. but unless you're painting the living room. fall back down. The wavelengths that are found in an emission spectra also represent the allowed energy levels. The quantum of light is the photon. This will cause the electrons to make quantum leaps to higher energy levels. Dear Doctor Science. a gallon of light is more than anybody needs. and when we go outside we tend to make a big deal out of it. I recently heard that "quantum leap" is a scientific term. very nearly a complete spectrum.all theoretical quantities. At lower temperatures. The gas in the tube is ionized by the electric field. which allows electrons to pass through the tube. When scientists say they've made a quantum leap. A high voltage is applied across the tube (the high voltage is developed by a step-up transformer). it's merely jargon which means they went outside to catch some sun. Fluorescent bulbs work on a different but similar principle (does that make sense?). which emit the energy as light. but mainly as ultra violet light. Science responds: The quantum theory says that energy exists in units called quanta. The various atoms in the powder are excited. Scientists are very pale as a rule. Remember the absorption spectrum with the Fraunhofer lines? It turned out that the wavelengths absorbed by the atoms represent the photons that have the allowed energy levels for that element. Photons that have different energy amounts will not be 563 . like the broad jump or 75 yard dash.This happens because tungsten has a lot of allowed energy states and when it is really excited you end up with a continuous spectrum of light.

the electrons would be somewhere in this funny little cloud shape. We can visualize it by imagining that we have a quantity of pennies. above that are the allowed energy levels. you will have learned about the various orbitals that electrons fill.0 Okay. A pile of pennies cannot have a weight that is not a multiple of the weight of a penny. Just a bunch of lines. 564 . p. Sadly. Energy eV 0 Third Excited State .1. The volume that the electrons stayed in for the 90 % became the shape of the suborbital. Remember . Let’s look at an energy level diagram for an atom. This is its lowest energy level. Why Energy Levels: Niels Bohr came up with idea of the allowed energy levels.5. The bottom line represents the ground state of the atom. right now it doesn’t look so good. Remember standing waves? Schrodinger developed an equation that described the behavior of electrons in all the elements.absorbed. The weight of the pennies must be a multiple of the weight of a single penny. This is the famous Schrodinger wave equation. “What if the electrons are moving around the nucleus as a standing wave?” This would explain why only certain energy levels were allowed. the s.5 Ground State . When the electrons drop to lower energy states.5 Second Excited State .3. The idea that only certain energy states are allowed and others are prohibited is not intuitive. the photons they emit are limited to only those wavelengths that correspond with the allowed energy states.0. Electron Position: From chemistry. d.0 First Excited State . Why were electrons restricted in the amount of energy they could have? De Broglies’ wave model for electrons is what came to the rescue. because of the mathematical difficulty level of the thing.they don't follow orbits like planets do. and f orbitals and the suborbitals? These were found by measuring the location of electrons over time. But you could be sure that 90 % of the time. so their weight is also quantified. But that is what happens. quite frankly. You couldn't really predict where the blame electrons were going to be . but. we won’t get to play with it. The electrons were found to be located in certain spaces about the nucleus 90 % of the time. Schroednger thought. they didn’t really make much sense.

it will not do so.3.5 Second Excited State . The top line is zero energy and represent s the point where the electron has left the atom (causing the atom to be ionized – “Ladies and Gentlemen.5 Ground State . Elvis has left the building. What can it then do? Well. These possible leaps are represented by the arrows.0.5.5.1.5 Second Excited State .0 Here we have an electron at the ground state.0 First Excited State . Here are a few of them: Energy eV 0 Third Excited State .0. All that is needed for the electron to make a quantum leap is the proper amount of energy.5 Ground State . It can leap to any of the three excited states available to it. it can make any of the following transitions: Energy eV 0 Third Excited State .3. Let’s imagine that the electron jumps up to the third excited state.”) There are several possible energy transitions.1. If the electron does not get exactly the right amount of energy to take it to one of the excited states.In this example there are three possible energy levels.0 First Excited State .0 Here’s an example of what could happen when an electron leaps to the third excited state: 565 .

31 x 103 nm  310 nm This photon would not be visible light – the wavelength is too short.01eV   0.0. The photons emitted? Well. Let’s find its wavelength. It then drops down to the ground state. This represents 0. This represents 4.0 eV quantum leap that started things? c hc E  hf c f f  E    E  1. This represents 4. This is where the energy goes.5 eV).5 Ground State .1.24 x 103 eV  nm   0. It would release a photon that has this amount of energy when it does this.0 First Excited State . Usually we represent them by their wavelength.3. See how it works? Of course. Energy eV 0 Third Excited State . Do you see the other energy amounts that are represented? Photons are always released when the electron falls to the lower energy state. it drops down to the second excited state.5 x 103 nm  2 500 nm This would definitely not be visible light – wavelength is way too long.0 The electron jumps up to the third excited state. one represents a quantum leap of 0. It could absorb a photon that has that amount of energy in order to make this jump. we don’t identify photons by the energy of the thing in eV.5 eV.51eV   2. 566 . Once there.5.0 eV and another photon would be released with that amount of energy.  E  1. So what would be the wavelength of a photon that caused the 4.5 Second Excited State .5 eV.24 x 103 eV  nm   4.5 eV of energy (5 eV-0. We’re looking at UV here.

(c)  E  1.00207 x 103 eV  2.03 eV 567 .00 eV c hc (b) E  hf c f f  E    E  1.24 x 103 eV  nm   600.0 nm.0 nm .07 eV  1. (a) draw an energy level diagram.00 600.10 eV  2.0031 x 103 eV  3.0 nm 400.90 eV on the scale. How would that work?  A monotamic gas is illuminated with light of wavelength 400.0 nm and 600.07 eV This is the energy of the 600 nm photon.90 eV So the third excited energy level would be at –1.01 nm   0.24 x 103 eV  nm   400.0 nm light? (c) At which wavelengths outside the visible range do these atoms emit radiation after they are excited by the 400. To find its corresponding energy level we merely subtract it from the one we already figured out.In a typical kind of problem.10 eV from the ground state or: 5.10 eV  1. you might be told that a gas absorbs a certain wavelength and gives that one off as well as another. (b) If the ground state of the atom has energy – 5.00 eV.5.0 nm.00 eV  3. E  3. what is the energy of the state to which the atoms were excited by the 400.0 nm light? (a) E (eV) 0.01 nm   0.10 eV So the third energy level that the electron jumped to is 3. It absorbs some of the light and gives off visible light at both 400.

hc hc E   E 1.20 x 103 nm 1. Let’s find the wavelength for this photon.24 x 103 eV  nm   1. 568 .A photon can be released by an electron dropping down from this energy level to the ground state.03 eV  1 200 nm This represents a photon that is outside the visible spectrum.

when the lung pressure is released.but only when my eyes were closed. But when these vessels are slightly overloaded. looking all the way to the right. pressure is built up in the lungs. children spark more than adults--as you get older.Dear Cecil: I've gone through life wondering about a childhood discovery that I must resolve before I slip into chronic adult paranoia. Sparks are less likely than a dull glow. Surely here was an article Which was both wave and particle And modeled his famous equation. At the moment of the cough. D. Should I avoid coughing in the tub? In the rain? --Sparky. but the principle is the same: pressure on the eye creates an illusion of light.C. I sparked-. and the combined effect of the bloated vessels and this final burst creates enough pressure to stimulate the photoreceptor cells. What does this mean? Am I all right? Need we be concerned about the power drain? It would be a shame to short out before my time. naturally. you're not going to electrocute yourself. and touching the left side of your eyelid. they become a little harder to get around. Usually. The sparks are an optical illusion. Washington. The sparks you see are the outline of the veins. forcing more blood to the head. where the network of blood vessels is densest. thanks to the pressure in the lungs. -. the sparks are concentrated at the periphery of the eye. --CECIL ADAMS Erwin Schroedinger gained inspiration From a belly dancer’s navel vibration. In the first stage of a cough. and.Lewis Elton 569 . you get bigger and less susceptible to subtle changes in pressure. Cecil replies: Don't worry. The eyeball is entwined in a network of blood vessels--you've seen the Visine commercials--that we normally see right through. goofball. Lying in bed with a winter cold. Interestingly. I noticed that when I coughed. the eyes. This causes a momentary imbalance in the circulatory system. But you can recapture the bliss of childhood by closing your eyes. a final wave of pressure travels to the head. and for a split second that pressure inhibits the flow of blood through them.

0 eV c hc (a) E  hf c f f  E    E  1.99 eV  E  1.00 .10. (a) Calculate the energies of the photons of light of the two absorption-spectrum wavelengths (b) draw a energy level diagram (c) Show by arrows on the energy level diagram all the possible transitions that would produce emission spectrum lines (d) What would be the wavelength of the emission line corresponding to the transition from the second excited state to the first excited state? (e) would the emission line be visible? E (eV) 0. 6 .01 eV (d) 8. 8 . 0 . only wavelengths of 207 nm and 146 nm are absorbed by the atoms. 3 .49 eV  5. When the atoms in their ground state are illuminated with light. 2 .24 x 103 eV  nm   2071nm   0. 1 .49 eV (b) 10. 5 . The ground state energy of an atom is – 10.24 x 103 eV  nm  1461nm   8.50 eV hc hc E   E 570 .99 eV  2.49 eV  1.51 eV 10.00599 x 103 eV  5.0 eV. 10 . 9 .0 eV  8. 4 . 7 .99 eV  4.0 eV  5.

As you try to zero in on the electron's location. After careful study. don't you know. So naturally scientists were confident that with proper instruments. but it is cool and very useful for a full understanding of quantum mechanics. all the odd stuff seemed to make sense.496 x 103 nm  496 nm 2.24 x 103 eV  nm   0. Once the wave thing was figured out for particles. The tribe will never be the same again. the less certain you become of its momentum and vice versa. The very act of measuring what they are doing changes the thing they are doing. This is because the act of measuring a thing changes the thing you are observing. The idea that you cannot know the momentum and the position is called the uncertainty principle. By that. Heisenberg found that the uncertainty in the momentum multiplied by the knowledge of the position was equal to Planck's constant. So far things had gone well. Newton had shown that the universe was a predictable place. This is what happens when you try to study electrons. camcorders. He came to realize that the quantum mechanical world was quite different than the everyday world. Heisenberg in the late 20’s experienced some problems with gathering data on these little subatomic particles. all the secrets of the universe could be extracted. However this was not to be. and a little delicacy. 571 . governed by the laws of physics. totally ignorant of the rest of the world – busy worshiping rocks or trees or perhaps a large coconut. Things get Strange: (Note this is stuff that you do not need to know for the test. This is where a dude named Verner Heisenberg comes in. he found that he could determine the position of an electron with great accuracy or he could accurately measure the momentum of an electron. What a weird thing.50 eV (e) visible. Here these backward natives are. flashlights. Physicists jumped in with both feet and set out to pin down those electrons and see exactly what they were doing. They are no longer ignorant savages – the very appearance of the scientists has changed the people and their society forever. visible light is 400 nm – 700 nm and this value falls within that range. but he could not do both at the same time. it is meant that anything observable could be measured to any degree of accuracy if you just had the right instrument. It’s like those anthropologists who set out to study a primitive tribe in the mountains of New Guinea. so you can’t be certain about it. All of a sudden here’s a bunch of scientists with Sony Walkman cassette players. and polyester pants.) Well the quantum thing was odd – nobody expected that atoms would behave as they did. careful technique. But stranger things were yet to come. 1. But this was only a momentary illusion.

but you have to work at it. but felt that the uncertainty was a result of the lack of refinement in the theory and that. you see a nice sharp image. What underlies the rhythm method of birth control? Wayne Wilkinson.From Marilyn vos Savant: The answer was “uncertainty principle”. the more you notice the dots. there is nothing that can be known. Einstein had trouble accepting the uncertainty principle. When you do your normal look at a magazine picture. -- Anonymous Planck's constant is a measure of the “graininess” of the universe. Uncertainty principle  It is impossible to know simultaneously the exact position of an object. Clarksburg. Turns out the universe is the same way.you find that it is made up of bunches of little dots. not making much sense. Eventually all you see are these big old dots that just lie there. You can still make out the subject of the picture. La What’s the name for the fear of a husband who can’t remember if today is the birthday of his wife or girlfriend? Gerald Swick. Washington. and its momentum. the uncertainty would vanish and we would be able to truly know some ultimate things. As you get closer and closer. The closer you get to the picture. He recognized that quantum mechanics worked. The picture is gone. Seattle. New Orleans. Va. Heisenberg might have slept here. with a little work. W. but if you magnify it – look at it close up . the picture gets grainier and grainier – harder and harder to make out. beyond these little dots. This makes it even more unlikely that anything can be truly known. Here are some questions: What was Heisenberg’s justification for prenuptial agreements? Karl Hester. In fact. Think of the universe as a sort of magazine photograph. It also was learned that the act of measuring a quantity would change the quantity. He believed that the laws of the 572 . Heisenberg had discovered the uncertainty principle. such as an electron.

that it happens to someone else)? Schrodinger came up with a marvelous way to illustrate the weirdness of this dilemma. the numbers of particles are so vast that the probability effect becomes a certainty. elegant. We cannot predict what the individual atom will do . Bruce Baskir "Electrons all jumbled like rice?" Quoth Einstein. mainly on philosophical grounds. If the atom decays.universe are simple. Thus he opposed it. We get around this by defining the cat’s state as being both alive and dead. The presence of the atom's decayed and undecayed quantum states translates into a cat that is both dead and alive at the same time . so there is no way to know what the cat's state is or was or will be. but when you deal with just a few or one.a highly counterintuitive idea. So is the cat dead or is it living? If you open the box. the gas is released and the cat croaks. let us say. we discuss the probability that they will be in a certain place or having a certain energy or momentum. His really famous quote. So shut-up and let me play dice. "That's too high a price. and beautiful – like special relativity. This probability is. It really could happen. The cop says "Do you know how fast you were going?" Heisenberg says "No. the cat will automatically be killed (by making our measurement we have changed the state).depends on whether or not an atom undergoes radioactive decay. In 1926 he proposed a puzzling thought experiment. which he made about uncertainty. we don't expect our observations to influence whether the kitty dies or stays alive--or to see one of the critters both dead and alive. discrete laws as the rest of physics is." Quantum mechanics is not governed by hard. There is a probability (pretty small and most highly unlikely) that the atoms that make up the seat you sit on could. all at one time. under certain conditions. "I cannot believe that God plays dice with the universe. When we deal with anything material. Which is why we can get away with ignoring the whole thing -. but I know where I am.most of the time. matter can exist in more than one state or position at the same time. When we discuss electrons." Schrodinger's Cat: A really weird outcome of quantum mechanics is that. Again. one needs point out. answered God "Well I don't find it odd.decay or not decay." In reply. If you deal with a large number of them. then you cannot be certain and your prediction will be unreliable. 50 – 50. is. Be pretty cool if it did too don't you think (as long. Imagine that a cat is placed in a sealed box and its fate - whether it lives or dies . and can make accurate predictions. But you must remember that we don't 573 . When we observe felines. The atom is hooked up to a flask of poison gas. it is important to recognize that this uncertainty only happens when we deal with very small events. you are okay. Quantum mechanics was none of those things. so we consider its probability of decaying. This is a wild concept. instead it is governed by probability and statistics. go somewhere else leaving you to fall to the floor." Of course Niels Bohr’s answer was. “Who is Einstein to tell God what to do?” Heisenberg is out for a drive when he's stopped by a traffic cop.

actually we do. Quantum mechanics has had a huge effect on our perception of the universe. But this is the atom in its ground state." Bohr kept responding. Peterson and some colleagues went to see an American western movie and began talking about the film afterward. "What did you think?" they asked Bohr and he replied. is weird. What follows is the gist of what transpired.live in a quantum world (well. which is a really nasty. We now realize that the universe is a place full of uncertainties and things that we cannot know or even find out. even as large as the whole universe. Not only do we have trouble figuring out the location of an electron. Out there in its higher orbital.0000000263 inch). Bohr. had worked with Bohr early in Peterson's career and toward the end of Bohr's career. In descending by Schuss. them atoms can get a whole bunch bigger when they absorb photons of energy -- electrons can jump into a higher energy quantum level. you know what the Physics Kahuna means? For example. "Too Implausible. O." "Come on Bohr. of course. the Physics Kahuna must tell you. Now that. the electron can be easily lost. highly reactive alkaline metal. which effectively makes the atom larger. Now might Schr’dinger's puss. Or the energized electron can also re-emit the light photon (falling back to a lower excited state). energized atoms almost always emit a photon or lose their outer electron within a fraction of a second." Finally they relented. This would be. Aage Peterson. The exact dialog is an approximation. Cesium atoms are big because the outermost electron is not very tightly held. its just a movie. why is it implausible?" 574 . one Ed Schweber. But it's theoretically possible for an atom to be energized to any size. One of his professors when he was in grad school in the early 70's. What happens when the atom absorbs energy? Well.68 angstroms across (0. Once Bohr. A cesium atom is about 6. The Cat in the Tree by Peter Price Another great Dane has made free With a question of Be or Not be.K. Leave one track on each side of a tree? The quantum mechanical universe is like so strange. restoring the atom to normal size. take your largest atom. "Too implausible. It effectively tossed out Newton’s idea of a clockwork universe. good old cesium. you can't subject it to too rigorous an analysis. leaving the atom smaller than a normal one. In the real world. the darn thing can even be in two places at the same time! Here’s a Niel’s Bohr story related by a physics professor. when it is unexcited. which is not all that more spectacularly bigger than many other atoms. but we aren't aware of it because the graininess of the quantum is far smaller than our threshold of noticing things). so the electron's orbital is quite large.

that I can accept ."That a man runs off with a woman . Baltimore or Chicago's Wrigley Field. And you don't make movies of everyday events. tell him you'll have to travel to Denver. no matter what our size. But that at the precise moment the bridge collapsed. The brother has to catch his sister somewhere. round off to the nearest significant figure and show him you've got your head screwed on right. Science responds: Your boss is probably more scientifically astute than you are. One person must have the faster horse and one the slower horse. enjoys when we've looked the universe square in the eye and said. Now those are real ballpark figures. Science.too implausible!” Dear Dr. Dear Doctor Science. So. statistically speaking. a movie crew should just happen to have been in the ravine to film it -. imagined or real. they have a great deal of excess emotional baggage. he's utilizing principles of Statistics. Unless they've raised the price of popcorn over 50 cents. When he asks you for data in these forms.that too I can accept. what figure should I give him? -----------Pedro Rodriguez. El Paso.it happens all the time. That the woman had a jealous brother who chased after them . When my boss asks me for a "ballpark figure". That the brother caught up with his sister .there certainly are jealous brothers. These principles are the foundation on which is based the uncertain future of our modern world. the next time he asks you for a "guesstimate". Texas Dr. Cleveland.even that I can accept." These atoms and their electrons are unusually stable and are concentrated in small towns in the upper Midwest. Science responds: It depends on the size of the electrons. Being negatively charged. he's referring to Indeterminacy and Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. As for ballparks. Specifically. The only electrons that can mass together and share the same energy level are those who have truly forgiven other subatomic particles for whatever insults. a surfeit of unforgiveness that drags them down like a lead overcoat. "Yes. Bridges do collapse and the people on them must have some reason for being there. they've suffered and moved into the glorious freedom that each of us. And that the bridge collapsed just as everyone was crossing it . that is.that too I can accept . things are OK just the way they are. 575 . How many electrons can the sixth energy level of an atom hold? --------David Crowley from Petaluma CA Dr. That the brother caught his sister as they were crossing a bridge - that I can accept as well.

The reflected photons reinforce one another with each pass between the mirror and build to a high intensity. One type is called spontaneous emission. Alternatively.5 mm in diameter. Einstein only thought it up. The master speculated that the excited atom would emit a photon of the same energy and move to a lower energy state.producing even more in-phase photons. The helium-neon lasers which the Physics Kahuna employs in his little pathetic laser demonstration bill of fare are continuous lasers. Here’s what you need to make the thing go: you must first have atoms in the excited state. in different ways. or pumped. The light beam is very small. Photons that are directed toward the ends of the tube will be reflected back into the gas by the mirrors. without external provocation. Next. the emission would not be affected. a continuous electric charge can be applied to hornswaggle the atoms into the necessary excited state. An electric discharge excites the helium atoms. a brief flash or pulse of laser light is emitted. Thus. The word has given rise to a verb. starting the avalanche. Stimulated emission is very different. but is cool. As a result.) One really awesome device which. An intense flash of light with a wavelength shorter than that of the laser can pump the atoms to the required state. producing a huge cascade of photons. . atoms that emits light when stimulated in a laser are said to lase. The other type is called stimulated emission. The two photons leaving the atom will be in phase and have the same wavelength. One atom decays to a lower energy state. pumping them to an excited state and causing them to lase. Spontaneous emission is an indiscriminate process. the photons have to have some sort of a pathway that will allow them to collide with the excited atoms. The invention that does all that is. to actually make this happen. The other mirror is only partially reflective. The photon that caused. It allows about one percent of the light to pass through. of course. When a photon strikes an atom in the excited state. Photons are emitted spontaneously. makes most excellent use of the quantum nature of the atom is your basic laser. In 1917. it stimulates the atom to make a transition to the lower state. This process is called stimulated emission. of course. The idea of stimulated emission is credited to Albert Einstein. The more energetic photons produced by the flash collide with and excite the lasing atoms. trusty laser The atoms in a laser can be put into the excited state. The photons that exit the tube through the partially reflecting mirror produce the laser beam.Lasers: (Another thing you don’t need to know. These photons can strike other atoms and produce more photons. One of the mirrors is near 100 percent reflective and reflects most of the light hitting it. This is the one we talked about that is involved in ordinary lights – like the old screw in light bulb. Either of the two photons can now strike other excited atoms – sort of a chain reaction kind of deal . The photons emitted by atoms are collected by placing a glass tube containing the atoms between two parallel mirrors. There are two types of light emission that your basic atoms can undergo. the Physics Kahuna must point out that he didn’t try). The trick is. or stimulated. but never made it happen (in fairness. he considered what would happen to an atom that had already gotten itself into an excited state if it were to be struck by another photon of the same energy as the original photon (the one that got it all excited to begin with). The laser light resulting from this process is continuous rather than pulsed. They collide with the neon atoms. all of the same wavelength and all having their maxima and minima at the same times. two photons leave the atom. Laser light is highly directional because of the parallel mirrors. the good old. typically only about 0. It is taken from Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. so the 576 . The word laser is an acronym. This process can continue. in random directions. thereby starting the avalanche.

Many substances--solids. Laser light is used in fiber optics as well. they left a mirror which was used by scientists to reflect a laser beam from Earth. blue by an argon laser. Samples with extremely small numbers of atoms can be analyzed in this way. In fact.light is in a tight beam. optical fibers have replaced copper wires for the transmission of telephone calls. Laser beams are also used to check the straightness of long tunnels and pipes. The light from some lasers. lasers can be used to repair the retina in an eye or the lens itself. Most produce laser light at only one wavelength. or monocromatic. The laser is switched on and off rapidly. When astronauts visited the moon. All the stimulated photons are emitted in phase with the photons that struck the atoms. In medicine. emitting characteristic spectra. The distance between Earth and the moon was thus accurately determined. liquids. The single wavelength of light emitted by lasers makes lasers valuable in spectroscopy. Laser beams are narrow and highly directional. transmitting information through the fiber. Lasers are also used to read bar codes on price tags on your basic consumer goods in the stores of the world. in phase and has a very high intensity (which is why you should never look into a laser). Lasers also can be used in surgery in place of a knife to cut flesh with little loss of blood. because the transition of electrons between only one pair of energy levels in one type of atom is involved. Lasers are used to cut materials such as wood and steel and to weld materials together. Surveyors use laser beams for this reason to make measurements. and gases--can be made to lase this way. The atoms then return to the ground state. A fiber uses total internal reflection to transmit light over many kilometers with little loss. This type of light is called coherent light. light that is of the same frequency. can even be tuned. or adjusted. The light is all of one wavelength. Laser light is used to excite other atoms. monochromatic. In many cities. Coherent light is. No more than one percent of electrical energy delivered to a laser is converted to light energy. and green by a helium-cadmium laser. and even television pictures. and traveling in the same direction – your basic laser beam deal. 577 . the unique properties of laser light have led to many applications. over a range of wavelengths. For example red is produced by a neon laser. in phase. They do not spread out over long distances. Despite this inefficiency. of course. single atoms have been detected by means of laser excitation and even have been held almost motionless by laser beams. The concentrated power of laser light is used in a variety of ways. It is rare to pay for something that has not had its price tag scanned by a laser. All lasers are very inefficient. computer data.

not the rule. That's Cerenkov radiation. I was left wondering: how radioactive must something be to begin glowing? And could a living creature become that radioactive and survive. but that's the exception. via AOL Cecil replies: Radioactive stuff doesn't glow. Perhaps you've seen depictions of the eerie blue glow emanating from spent nuclear fuel that's stored underwater. Hollywood screenwriters just think it does.Dear Cecil: After watching a campy mid-1950s science fiction movie recently. (Frail creature that I am. It occurs when beta particles (electrons) travel faster than the speed of light. For example: Cerenkov radiation. muchacho.) High-energy radioactive particles sometimes cause other stuff to glow. 578 . even briefly? --Ranchoth. I admit to having helped perpetuate this myth.

who discovered radium. When certain compounds are struck by radiation. He also calculated that this is part of a 25. including ordinary sunlight. Typically bremsstrahlung consists of invisible X rays. Now suppose a beta particle enters the water. say. Even so. though. There's nothing magical or dangerous about fluorescence. talked about watching the stuff glow in the dark. moves considerably faster than light traveling through water. making it the closest thing to a glow arising from radioactivity itself.You reply: Say what? I thought nothing could travel faster than the speed of light. Radiation from the former caused the latter to fluoresce. Madame Curie. you'd just die. Fluorescence. or changes direction. When a charged particle speeds up. slows down. If you were to tarry near a spent fuel canister bathed in Cerenkov radiation. A beta particle traveling through air. they glow. The radioactive material itself emits no visible light. 760 thousand billion miles wide. 579 . However. not the radium itself. It's an energy ring of incredible size. In 1961 Paul Otto Hesse defined and measured this anomaly. an intervening medium is generally required to speed/slow/divert the charged particle. much as a boat plowing through water creates a bow wave or a jet creates a sonic boom.000- year-long cycle that our solar system goes through. What happens? It throws up a shock wave of photons. but basically constructive interference between wave fronts generates visible light. Tragic. You wouldn't glow. c. but the light was emitted by minerals mixed up with the radium. notably water. glow-in-the-dark watch dials used to be painted with a mixture of radium and zinc sulfide. it can be caused by lots of things. it emits bremsstrahlung radiation. It gets a little complicated after that. but at least we'd put this silly misconception to rest. For instance. Not exactly--nothing can travel faster than the speed of light in a vacuum. at maybe 75 percent of c. None of these phenomena is going to make you or any living creature glow. light travels much slower. nor does the water glow once the radioactive stuff is removed. but I'm told that under certain circumstances it can be visible. --CECIL ADAMS Dear Cecil: About 200 years ago Sir Edmund Halley discovered an anomaly in space around the stars of the Pleiades. Bremsstrahlung. you'd receive a lethal dose in seconds. A hundred years later Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel confirmed Halley's findings. and is due to intersect the earth just about any minute now. Note that the radioactive stuff isn't what glows. in translucent media.

All indigenous cultures and religions prophesy three days of darkness to mark the "end times. In 1994 it received a book-length treatment in You Are Becoming a Galactic Human by Virginia Essene and Sheldon Nidle. 580 . some New Agers are saying the photon belt won't get here until 2011. "most of us will be having conversations with Masters. when a story about it appeared in Australia's Nexus magazine.It's expected that once we're into the Photon Belt. Originally it was thought that the arrival of the belt would lead to a vast transformation of society starting in 1992. but I for one would have expected something a little grander than a hike in the minimum wage. Of course it's nuts. the Internet for information. If hard data were the filtering criterion you could fit the entire contents of the Internet on a floppy disk. Upon exposure to excess photons the most common transformation of your being is sunburn.. but all I've been seeing is more Bill Clinton. The question is not whether it's nuts to believe in the photon belt. If you cast around on. moved. Photons in any case are merely particles of electromagnetic energy. however." Don't know about you. As a fallback. A. The next target date was May 5. folks with CIA or NSA credentials likely will show up and say it would be in the best interest of your family if you gave up the quest. New Mexico Cecil replies: Get off it. though there was to be a long buildup. 1997. I feel obliged to say that: (1) No photon belt or other such region of increased energy has been discovered. "Apparently." Scientists discussing the Photon Belt have been fired. electricity won't function and there will be three to five days of total darkness. How many great scientific discoveries do you know of that were channeled from aliens? For the record. So my question is. or denied access to the equipment used to study it. say. and space commanders of all kinds. Not to be critical in any way. Exactly when we're going to enter the photon belt is a matter of debate." beings from a distant planet. The "photon belt" has been a hot topic in New Age circles since 1991. I provide the pin. Rio Rancho. which we commonly experience as light. what can you tell us about the Photon Belt? Any hard data? --N. the spiritual hierarchy. So what did we get instead? Bill Clinton. by the end of Summer [1996]." one newsletter noted. Essene and Nidle claimed to be "channeling" members of the "Sirian Council. My mission in life is a little different: you provide the bubble. Nobody wants hard data.

and it's been pretty quiet since--although now that you mention it." --CECIL ADAMS 581 . but it seems clear these folks didn't have detailed technical knowledge. the power did go out for a couple minutes Saturday night. the New Age crowd had not given up on the Photon Belt. but it sounds like they're getting a little fidgety. However. via the Internet Cecil replies: Pretty quiet. How was Cinco de Mayo? --Susan Gleason. the arrival of the Photon Belt ought to be heralded by something a little more impressive than a message saying "RESET" on the microwave. and boy are we embarrassed. As of this writing (early July. (4) Paul Otto Hesse is unknown to astronomers. This cloud is composed not of photons but of dust and hydrogen gas. but this has long since been discredited. Shel. Norris denied it was a prank. The Pleiades are surrounded by a nebula. head of the Australian UFO society that publishes the magazine. In the 1850s it was conjectured that the earth orbited the Pleiades. unless of course they were on the horn with the guys from Sirius. trying to buck up the troops in a recent communique. STILL WAITING Dear Cecil: Just a note--my family and I just came back out of hiding. PB promoter Sheldon Nidle. to my way of thinking. and he said it was coauthored by a "middle-aged mother" and a college undergraduate. I'm sure your five-day supply of candles will come in handy for something. "The check is in the mail." 'Nuff said. So it's a crock. notes that "time is extremely elastic in its properties. (3) The earth isn't heading toward the Pleiades but away from them. The 1991 Nexus article was based on a 1981 article in an Australian UFO mag. But to me that sounds an awful lot like.(2) There's no "anomaly" near the Pleiades star cluster. I spoke to Colin Norris. What puzzled me was where the photon-belt story came from. 1997)." Whatever you say. But don't worry. Someone dug up a reference to a 1986 book by him in German whose title translates as "Judgment Day: A Book to Mankind That Speaks of Things to Come. or gas cloud.

What this one is saying is that energy and mass are equivalent to each other. you can properly work things out. hf is the energy of the photon and the  part is the work function for the metal. Here they be: E  hf  pc This is the equation for the energy of a photon. shows that the energy is a function of the photon’s momentum (p) and the speed of light (c). Atomic Physics and Quantum Effects 1. For many of the problems you will be tasked to solve. see? v f This equation is not part of the modern physics equation set.AP Physics – Quantum Wrap Up Not too many equations in this unit. Just a few. you will be given wavelength and not frequency of the photons. K max  hf   This is the equation for the maximum kinetic energy of an electron that has been expelled from a metal by a photon. one can relate frequency and wavelength. The other part. Modern Physics A. Using this equation. but is needed to solve the problems. it just represents a maximum. E   m  c 2 This is a ridiculously complicated way to write Einstein’s famous E  mc 2 equation. there will be a change in mass as well – the mass being converted into energy. h  p This is an equation for the wavelength of a photon as a function of its momentum and Planck’s constannt. This means that when a system undergoes change in energy. You should know the properties of photons and understand the photoelectric effect so you can: 582 . the pc bit. Note that the electron can have less energy than this. Using it. The hf part has to do with Planck’s constant and frequency.

electrons will be knocked out of the metal. Solve for f hc and plug that into the first equation. c. If the energy is too small (the wavelength is not short enough or the frequency is too small) then no photoelectrons are emitted. You know the total amount of energy in one second (it’s just the power) so you can divide it by the energy of a photon to get the number of photons per second. giving them (the electrons) kinetic energy. Just use the E  hf  pc equation. Power is work divided by time. e. If the photon’s energy is less than the work function no photoelectrons are produced. Use the E  hf  pc equation. d. Calculate the number of photons per second emitted by a monochromatic source of specific wavelength and power. 583 . Actually you want the E  hf part of it. This would require you to describe a typical photoelectric tube. The shorter the wavelength the greater the energy. and apply linear momentum conservation to simple processes involving the emission. The wavelength of the light determines the amount of energy each photon has. Describe a typical photoelectric effect experiment. Use the E  hf equation to calculate the energy for one photon.  b. The photoelectric equation allows you to calculate the maximum kinetic energy one of these photoelectrons can have. It is also a function of its frequency. The bigger the frequency the bigger the energy of the photon. The energy of the photon is a function of its wavelength. To get the wavelength thing in there. You get E  . absorption. you use the E  pc part of it. You would want to talk about the emitter and the collector. The photons don’t have enough energy to break the electrons loose. which means that it is also energy divided by time. use the v  f  so c  f  equation. Relate the linear momentum of a photon to its energy or wavelength. If the photon has more energy than the work function. or reflection of photons. The work function can be thought of as the energy that binds the electrons to the metal. Relate the energy of a photon in joules or electron-volts to its wavelength or frequency. Mainly though.a. and account for this dependence in terms of a photon model of light. Also talk about the stopping potential that is applied to the collector and how it affects the photoelectrons. The key thing for the photon nature of light (by this they mean the particle nature of light) is that the photons are having collisions with electrons and knocking them out of the metal. Describe qualitatively how the number of photoelectrons and their maximum kinetic energy depend on the wavelength and intensity of the light striking the surface. and explain what experimental observations provide evidence for the photon nature of light.

The intensity will have no effect on the energy of the photoelectrons however. No photoelectrons will be produced. the intensity of the light will have no effect. overcoming the electric f field establish on the thing. The energy of a photon is E  hf and the potential energy of the field is U  qV . Sketch or identify a graph of stopping potential versus frequency for a photoelectric- effect experiment. determine from such a graph the threshold frequency and work function. You should understand the concept of energy levels for atoms so you can: a. Then using the work function and the new photon energy you can work out the maximum kinetic energy of the photoelectrons for the new wavelength. To find the work function.  . Set them equal and you get hf  qV q is the charge of an electron. The intensity of the light is a measure of the number of photons per second that are incident on the metal surface. Here is a typical graph. Okay. e f 2. If the wavelength is too large to produce photoelectrons. Calculate the energy or wavelength of the photon emitted or absorbed in a transition between specified levels. or the energy or wavelength required to ionize an atom. When given the maximum kinetic energy of photoelectrons ejected by photons of one energy or wavelength. You are given the maximum kinetic energy and the energy of the photons (or wavelength) so you can calculate the work function. If the wavelength is suitable to produce photoelectrons. just their number. So the work function is simply the threshold frequency times Plank’s constant. This is the one where you have the energy diagrams. At the threshold frequency the maximum kinetic energy of the photoelectrons is equal to the potential energy in the field so: K max  hf   and U  qV so qV  hf   at the threshold frequency. The fC term is the threshold frequency. so we can plug in “e” for h the electron’s charge and write the equation as: hf  eV solving for like they want us e h V to do we get:  Thus. okay. Photons that have a higher Vs frequency than the cutoff frequency will produce photoelectrons that have enough energy to reach the collector. the intensity will determine the number that are released. Let’s see. g. and calculate an approximate value of h/e. It is simply where the curve hits the old x axis. the stopping potential is zero. so 0  hf   and   hfC . f. Use the K max  hf   equation. They look like this: 584 . Photons at the threshold frequency will fc have a maximum kinetic energy that is equal to the potential energy of the field. determine the maximum kinetic energy of photoelectrons for a different photon energy or wavelength. h/e is simply the slope of the graph.

This is pretty simple . What a lucky AP student you are to have such a splendiferous resource! b. he doesn’t care. The energy difference between the energy levels is given off as a photon by the electron. The one the right gives you the specified energy levels that are available for the electrons to make their quantum leap things to. You can then translate that into the energy levels in the atom. These are photons of specific wavelengths that represent the energy levels within the atom. The “qualitatively” thing is nice. are not stable. calculate the wavelength or energy for a single-step transition between two levels. We did several of these problems and the whole thing was wonderfully explained in the handout. just explain it On second thought. The absorption spectra has to do with white light (all colors) shining through a gas sample.) Electrons absorb photons that have energy that is equal to the energy differences between the energy levels.just calculate the energy of the photon from its wavelength and then convert it into eV. SO the only colors given off correspond to the energy level differences in the atom.0 eV -3. The wavelength or the frequency of the photons can be calculated because you know the energy that is needed to make the quantum leaps. Explain qualitatively the origin of emission or absorption spectra of gases. You will recall having viewed just such a thing. and fall back down to lower energy levels. The photons of light that have wavelengths that correspond to the energy levels in the atoms of the gas are absorbed.0 eV Initial State The one on the left you would use to determine the energy needed to ionize an atom. It is always easier to calculate something than to explain it. We did a bunch of problems like that. The spectrum given off appears as different colored lines.0 eV Initial State -5. Ionized Atom Ionized Atom 0 eV 0 eV (continuous (continuous energy levels) energy levels) -1. The spectrum is continuous – goes from red to violet. Check ‘em out.0 eV -5. c. 3. It means that you don’t have to calculate anything. The excited electrons jump up to higher energy levels. maybe that’s not so good. You should understand the concept of DeBroglie wavelength so you can: 585 . (The Physics Kahuna recognizes that that was a really wretched sentence – but. Gas atoms that are excited will give off an emission spectrum. Given the wavelengths or energies of photons emitted or absorbed in a two-step transition between levels. but the absorbed wavelengths show up as dark lines where there is no light.

h Just use the  equation. this is a classic experiment that took place in 1927. and state what results were observed and by what sort of analysis these results may be explained. x-rays are produced when high velocity electrons are incident on a dense metal such as tungsten. The DeBroglie wavelength is the flip side of the coin for matter. The photons. 4. The x-ray beam is made up of a stream of photons. You should understand Compton scattering so you can: a. having less energy than before. a. etc. Also that the particles can undergo wave interactions such as constructive and destructive interference. The photons give some of their energy to the electrons. but it also works for particles as well. This was confirmation of DeBroglie’s theory of particle wave behavior. The scattered electrons exhibited interference patterns – you know the whole minima and maxima deal at specific angles. producing interference patterns. Davisson and Germer. You should understand the nature and production of x-rays so you can calculate the shortest wavelength of x-rays that may be produced by electrons accelerated through a specified voltage. 5. The p equation is for a wave. Of course the momentum of a particle is simply p  mv . Describe Compton’s experiment. Two guys. and explain how it provides evidence for the wave nature of electrons. then we get: hc hc U  qV E  hf vf c so qV  so   qV Where q is the charge of the electron and V is the potential difference that the electron was accelerated through. The crystal structure of the nickel acted like a diffraction grating. collide with electrons in the carbon atoms in the graphite. measured the wavelength of electrons that were scattered off a nickel target in a vacuum. The idea is that moving particles such as electrons have wave characteristics – frequency. wavelength. The Compton thing is that a beam of x-rays are flashed onto a graphite crystal. the photons end up with a longer 586 . Calculate the wavelength of a particle as a function of its momentum. Describe the Davisson-Germer experiment. acting like particles. It gives you the wavelength as a function of momentum. Okay. If we assume that the energy of the electron is converted into the energy of the x-ray photon produced. b. Now.

the Physics Kahuna has already done that! (See above). Same deal for the mass number. Interpret symbols for nuclei that indicate these quantities. atomic number b. the mass number of the parent nuclei goes down by four and atomic number goes down by two. beta decay. Mass number. . You should understand the significance of the mass number and charge of nuclei so you can: mass number a. The basic idea is that the atomic number and mass numbers are conserved in a nuclear reaction. Three kinds of decay to worry about – alpha decay. In alpha decay. But here are a couple of example equations. which is a He-4 nucleus. Use conservation of mass number and charge to complete nuclear reactions. Gamma decay is usually a byproduct of either alpha or beta decay. 238 92U  234 90Th  4 2 He Alpha decay 234 90Th  234 91 Pa  0 1 e Beta decay 587 . Describe the process of . This means that the total atomic number on one side of the equation must equal the total atomic number on the other side. The gamma photon has no effect on either mass number or atomic number. this is simple. This was good evidence for the particle nature of electromagnetic waves. C symbol atomic number. Okay. and the elements chemical symbol. Oh well. c. B. Account qualitatively for the increase of photon wavelength that is observed. It’s just like the thing over here to the right. The important thing is that increase in photon wavelength is due to the loss of photon energy in the collision between the photons and electrons. The Physics Kahuna already did this in the deal up above. and explain the significance of the Compton wavelength. wavelength. and gamma decay. Darn. b. In Beta decay the nucleus loses an electron. For a photon less energy means longer wavelength.  decay and write a reaction to describe each. In beta decay the mass number stays the same but the atomic number increases by one. Oops. c. Nuclear Physics 1. In alpha decay. the nucleus loses an alpha particle. Determine the mass number and charge of a nucleus after it has undergone specified decay processes.

Stuff like barium and krypton. Energy and momentum would have to be conserved. before the strong nuclear force is greater than the electromagnetic force. Okay here’s what happens: a heavy nucleus. right?): 14 6C  14 7N  0 1 e  v The symbol for the neutrino is v. and it splits apart. A new particle had to exist and was postulated. By using the phrase “describe”. e. There had to be another particle that had the missing energy and momentum. Now why is a chain reaction possible? The Physics Kahuna leaves you with this one to research on your own. Here’s an example of a reaction that produces a neutrino (this would be beta decay. 588 . the College Board folks are telling you that you don’t need to write out an actual fission equation. b. Explain why the existence of the neutrino had to be postulated in order to reconcile experimental data from  decay with fundamental conservation laws. It wasn’t until the mid 1950’s that the neutrino was actually detected. So its strength is much greater than the electromagnetic force but it is a much shorter range deal. 2. like your basic U-235. The nuclear force binds the nucleons together within the nucleus. Relate the energy released in fission to the decrease in rest mass. It becomes two new nuclei. This is pretty simple. Later it was given the name “neutrino” by Enrico Fermi. You should understand nuclear fission so you can: a. Just use the E   m  c equation. but simply to state what happens in one. absorbs a neutron. is very small – essentially the particles have to be really close together. It is many orders of magnitude stronger than the electromagnetic force. but when the properties of the particles were examined after the collision. A particle accelerator was used to bombard an atomic nucleus with a high-energy particle. You should know the nature of the nuclear force so you can compare its strength and range with those of the electromagnetic force. This makes it unstable. 3. The energy released (the E deal) is equal to the 2 change in the rest mass (the m deal) times the speed of light squared. the energy and momentum did not add up. This is the “fission” part of the deal. Its effective range. like almost touching. Describe a typical neutron-induced fission and explain why a chain reaction is possible. however. You just use the equation.

0141 u   4.3 x 10 kg 5  23    3  2 nuclie  6.00015  589 . 3  2. just add up all the masses and then compare it to the mass of a helium nuclei plus a proton and a neutron. given the following information.02 x 10 molecule  1 mol   10 g   1  4.   3 21 H  4 2 He + 1 1H + 1 0n (a) Determine the mass defect of a single reaction.65 x 1013 J  3.0141 u 2 He  4 4.46 x 1012 J  s (c) The United States requires about 1020 J per year to meet its energy needs. The atomic mass number of oxygen is 16.0 x 108   34.015% of the hydrogen atoms in seawater (H2O) are deuterium.0232 u (b) Determine the energy in joules released during a single fusion reaction.46 x 10 J  (d) Assume that 0.  1.0026 u  1.0078 u 1 0n  1.0232 u    0.0026 u 1 1H  1. this is simple.0087 u  0.89 x 1031 nuclei    4.289 x 10 nuclei  32 12 2. 2 1H  2.From 2001:  Consider the following nuclear fusion reaction that uses deuterium as fuel. About how many kilograms of seawater would be needed per year to provide the hydrogen fuel for fusion reactors to meet the energy needs of the United States?  1 molecule   1 mol   18 g   1 kg  2.89 x 1031 nuclei  3.0087 u Okay.85 x 1029 kg  1u  2  m E   m  c 2  3.0078 u  1.0385 x 10 kg  3.85 x 10 29 kg  3. We will subtract the individual parts from the mass of the three deuterium nuclei. How many deuterium atoms would be necessary to provide this magnitude of energy?  1 nuclei  1020 J    0.66 x 1027 kg  27 0.3 x 105 kg    3 x 109 kg  0.

0 eV  3.0 eV Initial State a.1 eV   1.24 x 103 eV  nm E    1240 nm  E 1. Ionized Atom Ionized Atom 0 eV 0 eV (continuous (continuous energy levels) energy levels) 400 nm 600 nm -5.1 eV  600 nm Ee  3.5.0 eV hc hc 1.0 eV From 1996: 590 .From 1997:  A monatomic gas is illuminated with visible light of wavelength 400 nm. At which other wavelength(s) outside the visible range do these atoms emit radiation after you are excited by the 400 nm light? E hc  1. In the box.9 eV c. If the initial state of the atoms has energy .1 eV  1.0 eV Initial State -5.1 eV  2. The gas is observed to absorb some of the light and subsequently to emit visible light at both 400 nm and 600 nm.0 eV. what is the energy of the state to which the atoms were excited by the 400 nm light? c hc E  hf f  E   E hc  1.1 eV  400 nm Ee  5. (above) complete an energy level diagram that would be consistent with these observations. b. Indicate and label the observed absorption and emissions.24 x 10 eV  nm  3  2.24 x 10 eV  nm  3  3.

The atomic masses of helium-4 and fermium-252 are 4.67 x 1027 kg  27 m  4. respectively.00260 u and 252.08249 u. What is the atomic number of the original unstable nucleus? Z  102 f.Where does the kinetic energy of the alpha particle come from? Explain briefly.6 x 1019 J   K  8. How would this affect the atomic number of the nucleus? Explain briefly. From 1995: 591 . A neutron converts into a proton and an electron. e.0 u    6. Suppose that the fermium-252 nucleus could undergo a decay in which a . Atomic number increases by one. Energy Conservation is also involved – the potential or binding energy of the nucleus was converted into kinetic energy of the products of the reaction. Where does the kinetic energy of the alpha particle come from? Explain briefly.)  1.42 MeV.4042 x 1015  4.68 x 10 kg m2 m2 m v 0. An unstable nucleus that is initially at rest decays into a nucleus of fermium-252 containing 100 protons and 152 neutrons and an alpha particle that has a kinetic energy of 8.particle was produced. h. 252 100 Fm  252 101 X  0 1 e Note you would not have access to a periodic table.01 x 107 s2 s2 s g. so you probably wouldn’t know what element had an atomic number of 101. Mass Equivalence: The original nucleus decays into the product particles and energy.35 x 10   s 2 1 K  mv 2 v 2K    27 2 m 6. The energy shows up primarily as the kinetic energy of the daughter nucleus and the particles that are emitted.042 x 1014  2.68 x 10 kg  1u   12 kg  m 2 2 1.35 x 10 J    1. What is the velocity of the alpha particle? (Neglect relativistic effects for this calculation.42 x 10 eV 6  1 eV 12   1.

E  EPhoton  Eelectron  15 eV  13. The kinetic energy of the ejected -5 electron.2 eV photon.4 eV Ground State -13. -3. Draw arrows on the diagram showing only the transitions Ionized atom involved in these processes. (Continuous Energy Levels) d. i. Determine the following for the first photon emitted.6 ii. i.14 x 1015 eV  s c. including those that are involved in the processes described above.14 x 10 15   m eV  s  3 x 108   s    1.  A free electron with negligible kinetic energy is captured by a stationary proton to form an excited state of the hydrogen atom. The atom is in its ground state when a 15 eV photon interacts with it. During this process a photon of energy Ea is emitted. followed shortly by another photon of energy 10.6 electron volts. No further photons are emitted. 592 .4 Energy (eV0 Determine the following.2eV b. a.22 x 107 m E 10. The energy Ec of the photon Ec  13. freeing it from the atom. The de Broglie wavelength of the electron. The following diagram shows some of the energy levels of the hydrogen atom.6 eV  10.4 eV E  hf f    8.4 eV ii. All the -1. Determine the wavelength of the 10. c hc E  hf c f f  E   hc  4.2 electron volts. The frequency that corresponds to this energy E 3.6 eV -10 E 1. The ionization energy of hydrogen is 13.2 x 1014 Hz h 4.5 photon's energy is transferred to the electron.2 eV  3.

593 . plot the kinetic energy versus light frequency for the five data points given.11 x 1031 kg  6.796 x 105   s    0. Draw on the graph the line that is your estimate of the best straight-line fit to the data points.4 eV   1.107 x 108 m  1.  -19 kg  m 2  1 2K 2 1. b. The table below lists the measurements that were taken.07 x 109 m From 1994:  A series of measurements were taken of the maximum kinetic energy of photoelectrons emitted from a metallic surface when light of various frequencies is incident on the surface. On the axes.11 x 1031 kg  1 eV      m2 m m v 0. From this experiment.63 x 10 s  h p  mv so   h  s2 p mv  m 9.6796 x 106  6. a. determine a value of Planck's constant h in units of electron volt- seconds.4618 x 10 12  0.60 x 10 s2  K  mv 2 v    2 m 9. Briefly explain how you did this.796 x 105 s2 s s 34 kg  m 2 6.

Plot the data points and obtain a curve. Then determine the slope of the curve.

K max  hf   Equation for a line. h is the slope of the line.

K 2  K1 1.9 eV  0 eV
h   3.6 x 1015 eV  s
f 2  f1 1
10  4.6  x 1014
s

From 1985:

 An energy-level diagram for a hypothetical atom is shown to the right.
a. Determine the frequency of the lowest energy photon that could ionize the atom, initially
in its ground state. Energy eV
b. Assume the atom has been excited to the
0
state at -1.0 electron volt.
Second Excited State - 1.0
i. Determine the wavelength of the
photon for each possible - 3.0
First Excited State
spontaneous transition.
ii. Which, if any, of these
wavelengths are in the visible
range? Ground State - 5.0
c. Assume the atom is initially in the ground state. Show on the following diagram the
possible transitions from the ground state when the atom is irradiated with
electromagnetic radiation of wavelengths ranging continuously from 2.5 x 10-7 meter to
10.0 x 10-7 meter.
(a) The lowest energy photon that could ionize the atom would be one that kicks the electron to
the 0 eV energy state. This would be an energy of – 5.0 eV.

594

E 5.0 eV
E  hf f    1.21 x 1015 Hz
h 4.14 x 1015 eV  s
(b) i. Here is the diagram showing all possible transitions for the electron that has reached the
second excited state:
Energy eV
0
Second Excited State - 1.0

First Excited State - 3.0

Ground State - 5.0

The possible energy transitions are:
1.0 eV   5.0 eV   4.0 eV
1.0 eV   3.0 eV   2.0 eV
3.0 eV   5.0 eV   2.0 eV
Now we can find the wavelength of the photons that have this energy:
v v hv
E  hf and v f f  plug in for f E  h  
  
hv hv hc
E   v  c, right ?
 E E

First transition:

hc  1  1 eV 
  1.99 x 1025 J  m   19
6
  0.31 x 10 m
E  4.0 eV   1.60 x 10 J 

6  109 nm  3
  0.31 x 10 m    0.31 x 10 nm  310 nm
 1m 

Second (and third) transition:

hc  1  1 eV 
  1.99 x 1025 J  m   19
6
  0.622 x 10 m
E  2.0 eV   1.60 x 10 J 

595

 109 nm 
  0.622 x 106 m  3
  0.622 x 10 nm  622 nm
 1m 

ii. Which, if any, of these wavelengths are in the visible range?

The second and third transitions; from – 1.0 eV to – 3.0 eV and from – 3.0 eV to – 5.0 eV.

c. Assume the atom is initially in the ground state. Show on the following diagram the possible
transitions from the ground state when the atom is irradiated with electromagnetic radiation of
wavelengths ranging continuously from 2.5 x 10-7 meter to 10.0 x 10-7 meter.

The light incident on the atom would have a wavelength of 250 nm to 1000 nm. Wavelengths
that would cause a transition would be at 622 nm and at 310 nm. The light needed to
ionize the atom has a wavelength of 249
nm, the incident light is longer than Energy eV
that. So only the three transitions are 0
possible.
Second Excited State - 1.0

622 nm
First Excited State - 3.0

310 nm 622 nm
Ground State - 5.0
From 1992:

 The ground-state energy of a hypothetical atom is at - 10.0 eV. When these atoms, in the
ground state, are illuminated with light, only the wavelengths of 207 nanometers and 146
nanometers are absorbed by the atoms. (1 nanometer = 10 - 9 meter).

596

Complete the energy-level diagram shown above for these atoms by showing all the excited energy states.99 eV  207 nm hc1. The visible spectrum extends from 400 to 700 nm.24 x 103 eV  nm E    496 nm  E 2. hc 1.24 x 103 eV  nm E   5. c.49 eV  146 nm b. Calculate the energies of the photons of light of the two absorption-spectrum wavelengths.24 x 103 eV  nm E   8. Would the emission line in (d) be visible? Briefly justify your answer. Show by arrows on the energy-level diagram all of the possible transitions that would produce emission spectrum lines.99 eV  2. Yes. d. 597 . What would be the wavelength of the emission line corresponding to the transition from the second excited state to the first excited state? E  8.a.49 eV  5.5 eV hc hc 1.5 eV e.