Blackbody Radiation & Planck’s Hypothesis

 A blackbody is any object

that absorbs all light incident upon it  Shiny & reflective objects are poor blackbodies  Recall: good absorbers and also good emitters  Ideally we imagine a box with a small hole that very little light (EM radiation) can reflect back out

Peaks at an intermediate freq. there is very little radiation  The rad. Consider heating blackbodies to various temperatures and recording intensity of radiation at differing frequencies  At both low and high freq.  This distribution holds true regardless of the material  Note: As temp. increases – peak moves to higher frequency . increases – area under curve increases  This represents total energy  As temp.

like the bolt shown  But White. or BlueWhite stars are very hot  Our sun is intermediate . The temperature therefore indicates its emitted color and vice versa  We can determine star temperature (surface) by analyzing its color  Red stars are fairly cool.

Prediction & exp match well  At high temps.Planck’s Quantum Hypothesis  Attempts to explain blackbody radiation using classical physics failed miserably  At low temps. Classical prediction explodes to infinity  Very different from experimental result  Referred to as the Ultraviolet Catastrophe .

 German physicists Max Planck diligently tried to solve this issue  He “stumbled” upon a mathematical formula that matched the experiment  He then needed to derive the physical formula  The only way was to assume energy (in the form of EM radiation) way quantized  Little “packets” of energy .

Eαf  Inserting a constant. h E=nhf  Where n = number of packets and h = planck’s constant h = 6.63 x 10-34 J • s  One of our fundamental constants of nature  This tells us that energy can only change in quantum jumps. a very tiny amount not experienced everyday .

quite well:  The > f. Planck was not satisfied and believed (along with other physicists) that it was a purely mathematical solution. the amount of energy needed for small jumps increased as well  The object only has a certain amount of energy to supply  Therefore: radiation drops to zero at high frequency . not a “real” physical one  It does explain the exp. the > quantum of energy needed  As frequency increased.

Photons & the Photoelectric Effect  Planck believed that the atoms of a blackbody vibrated with discrete frequencies (like standing waves)  But. at the time light was considered a wave therefore no connection  Einstein took the idea of quanta of energy and applied it to light – called photons .

there must be tremendous numbers of them . Each photon has energy based on its frequency E=nhf  A beam of light can be thought of as a beam of particles  More intense = more particles  Since each photon have small amounts of energy.

 Einstein applied this model to the photoelectric effect issue  Light hitting the surface of metals can cause electrons to be ejected  The effect could not be explained using the wave theory of light  We can determine the number of e ejected by connecting the apparatus to a simple circuit .

 The minimum amount of  Classical physics energy needed to eject e = work function. the additional amount goes into kinetic energy of e  Kmax = E – W0 2. W0  Metal dependent  Usually a few eV  If an e is given energy by predicts 1. light that exceeds W0. light of any frequency should eject e as long as intensity is high enough The K of e should increase with intensity .

There is a minimum frequency required – the cutoff frequency. If f < f0 no e regardless of the intensity 2. f0  using the photon model of light 1. 2.  The Kmax of e depends only on the frequency Increasing intensity about f0 only increases the number of e Changing intensity only changes the number of photons E is ejected only if the photon has sufficient energy (at least equal to the work function)  The is the cutoff frequency. f0 . These do not agree with  Both of these are explained experiment: 1.

Kmax depends linearly on frequency  A plot of Kmax for Na & Au shows different cutoff frequencies. h . no e are ejected regardless of intensity photon  Kmax = hf – W0  Since energy is that of a  Therefore. If f > f0. the e leaves metal with some K  If f < f0. but the same slope.

Photons & the Photoelectric Effect  Quantization of light – Albert Einstein (1905)  Based on properties of EM waves  Emitted radiation should be quantized  Quantum (packet of light) – photon  Each photon has energy E=hf  Little bundles of light energy  Connection between wave & particle nature of light .

characteristic curves are obtained . Einstein used this to explain the photoelectric effect  Certain metallic materials are photosensitive  Light striking material emits electrons (e)  The radiant energy supplies the work necessary to free the e – photoelectrons  When photocell is illuminated with monochromatic light.

time is required to “build up” energy  Since light can be considered a “bundle of energy”. Emission begins the  Since e are bound by instant (~10-9 s) even with low intensity light  Classically. work must be done  Conservation of energy hf = Kmax + φ where φ = amount of work (energy) needed to free e  Part of energy of photon “frees” e & the rest is carried away as K . E = hf  The e absorb whole photon or nothing attractive forces.

φ0 hf = Kmax + φ0  Other e require more energy & the K is less  Increasing light intensity. no e are dislodged When Kmax = 0 the minimum cutoff frequency. f0 Hf0 = Kmax + φ0 = 0 + φ0  f0 = φ0 / h . increases # of photons thus increasing # of e individual photons  Photon energy depends on frequency  Below a certain freq. Least tightly bound will  Does not change energy of have maximum K  Energy needed = work function.

 Light below this (no matter how many) will not dislodge e . Photon has enough energy to free e. but no extra to give it K  Sometimes called threshold freq.