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Quantum Physics

Quantum Physics

Quantum Physics
Learning Outcomes:
13.Appreciate that, in a simple model of band theory, there are energy
bands in solids.
14.Understand the terms valence band, conduction and forbidden band
(band gap)
15.Use simple band theory to explain the temperature dependence of
the resistance of metals and of intrinsic semiconductors
16.Use simple band theory to explain the dependence on light intensity
of the resistance of an LDR
17.Explain the principles of the production of X-rays by electron
bombardment of a metal target.
18.Describe the main features of a modern X-ray tube, including control
of the intensity and hardness of the X-ray beam.
Quantum Physics
Learning Outcomes:
19.Show an understanding of the use of X-rays in imaging
internal body structures, including a simple analysis of
the causes of sharpness and contrast in X-ray imaging.
20.Recall and solve problems by using the equation for the
attenuation of X-rays and of ultrasound in matter.
21.Show an understanding of the purpose of computed
tomography or CT scanning.
22.Show an understanding of the principles of CT scanning.
23.Show an understanding of how the image of an 8-voxel
cube can be developed using CT scanning.
Particulate nature of electromagnetic
If a source of gamma radiation is placed near a
Geiger counter, irregular series of clicks can be
The counter is detecting gamma rays which is
a electromagnetic spectrum.
We can conclude that gamma rays behave like
particles when they interact with a Geiger
Energy of photon

1. Calculate the energy of a high-energy -
photon, frequency 1026 Hz.
2. Visible light has wavelengths in the range 400
nm (violet) to 700 nm (red). Calculate the
energy of a photon of red light and a photon of
violet light.
3. A 1.0 mW laser produces red light of
wavelength 6.48 x 10-7 m. Calculate how many
photons the laser produces per second.
Photoelectric emission of electrons
Photoelectric emission is the release of electrons from the surface
of a solid when electromagnetic radiation is incident on its surface.
The classical wave theory predicts that :
1. Electrons should be absorb energy continuously form the electromagnetic
waves. A more intense light should transfer energy into the metal faster,
and the electrons should be ejected with more kinetic energy.
2. For very weak light, a measurable time interval should pass between the
incidence of the light and the ejection of an electron. This time is required
for the electron to absorb the incident radiation before it acquires enough
energy to escape from the metal.
3. Electrons should be ejected at any frequency of the incident light, as long
as the intensity is high enough, because energy is being transferred to the
metal regardless of the frequency.
4. No relationship should exist between the frequency of the light and
electron kinetic energy. The kinetic energy should be related to the
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intensity of the light.
A clean zinc plate is placed on the cap of a gold-leaf electroscope.
The electroscope is then charged negatively, and the gold leaf deflects,
proving that the zinc plate is charged.
If visible light of any colour is shone on to the plate, the leaf does not move.
But when ultra-violet radiation is shone on the plate the leaf falls, showing
that it is losing negative charge.
This means that electrons are being emitted from the zinc plate.
These are called photoelectrons.
If the intensity of uv radiation is increased, the leaf falls more quickly,
showing that the rate if emission of electrons has increased.
1. If photoemission takes place, it does so instantaneously.
There is no delay between illumination and emission.
2. Photoemission takes place only if the frequency of the
incident radiation is above a certain minimum value
called the threshold frequency f0 (Minimum frequency
required to release electrons from the surface of a
3. Different metals have different threshold frequencies.
4. Whether or not emission takes place depends only on
whether the frequency of radiation used is above the
threshold for that surface. It does not depend on the
intensity of the radiation.
5. For a given frequency , the rate of emission of
photoelectrons is proportional to the intensity of the

If the voltage between A and B is gradually increased, the current registered on
the micrometer decreases and falls to zero.
The minimum value of the potential difference necessary to stop the electron
flow is known as the stopping potential.
It measures the maximum kinetic energy with which the photoelectrons are
There is current in the micrometer at voltage less than the stopping potential
indicates that there is a range of kinetic energies for these electrons.
If the experiment is repeated with radiation of greater intensity but the same
frequency, the maximum current in the microammeter increases, but the value
of stopping potential is unchanged.
The experiment can be repeated using ultra-violet radiation of different
frequencies, measuring the stopping potential for each frequency.
The maximum kinetic energy of the photoelectrons is plotted against the
frequency of the radiation.

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1. The photoelectrons have a range of kinetic energies,
from zero up to some maximum value. If the
frequency of the incident radiation is increased the
maximum kinetic energy of the photoelectrons also
2. For constant frequency of the incident radiation, the
maximum kinetic energy is unaffected by the intensity
of radiation.
3. If the graph is extrapolated to the point where the
maximum kinetic energy of the photoelectrons is
zero, the minimum frequency required to cause
emission from the surface (the threshold frequency)
may be found.
But, based on wave theory, do not match the
Dependence of photoelectron kinetic energy on light intensity
Classical prediction: Electrons should be absorb energy continuously
form the electromagnetic waves. A more intense light should transfer
energy into the metal faster, and the electrons should be ejected with
more kinetic energy.
Experimental result: The maximum kinetic energy of the
photoelectrons is independent of light intensity.
Time between incidence of light and ejection of photoelectrons
Classical prediction: For very weak light, a measurable time interval
should pass between the incidence of the light and the ejection of an
electron. This time is required for the electron to absorb the incident
radiation before it acquires enough energy to escape from the metal.
Experimental result: Electrons are emitted from the surface almost
instantaneously, even at very low intensities.
Dependence of ejection of electrons on light frequency.
Classical prediction: Electrons should be ejected at any
frequency of the incident light, as long as the intensity is high
enough, because energy is being transferred to the metal
regardless of the frequency.
Experimental Result: No electrons are emitted if the incident
light frequency falls below some threshold frequency, which
is characteristic of the material being illuminated. No
electrons are ejected below this threshold frequency
regardless of how intense the light is.
Dependence of photoelectron kinetic energy on light
Classical prediction: No relationship should exist between
the frequency of the light and electron kinetic energy. The
kinetic energy should be related to the intensity of the light.
Experimental result: The maximum kinetic energy of the
photoelectrons increases with increasing light frequency.
Einsteins theory of photoelectric emission
In 1905, Albert Einstein developed the theory of quantised
energy to explain all the observations associated with
photoelectric emission.
He proposed that light radiation consists of a stream of energy
packets called photons.
A photon is the special name given to a quantum of energy when the
energy is in the form of electromagnetic radiation.
When a photon interacts with an electron, it transfer all its
energy to the electron.
It is only possible for a single photon to interact with a single
The photon cannot share its energy between several electrons.
This transfer of energy is instantaneous.

1. Photons of energies 1.0 eV, 2.0 eV and 3.0 eV
strike a metal surface whose work function is
1.8 eV.
a. State which of these photons could cause the
release of an electron from the metal.
b. Calculate the maximum kinetic energies of the
electrons released in each case. Give your answer
in eV and in J.
Wave-particle duality

X- ray

Evidence of duality
Electromagnetic radiation or particles will
travels in waves form which will have effect of
diffraction and interference.
Electromagnetic radiation or particles will
travels as particles which will have effect of
Energy levels in atoms
Electron in an atom
can have only certain
specific energies.
These energies are
called the electron
energy level of the
The energy levels
represented as a
series of lines against
a vertical scale of
Every atom has a characteristic set of energy
levels whose values can be found
experimentally or calculated using wave
The electron in the hydrogen atom can have
any of these energy values, but cannot have
energies between them.
All levels have negative energy values because
the energy of an atom is taken as zero and
when the electron falls into the atom energy
is lost as electromagnetic radiation.
Electron normally occupies the
lowest energy levels. ground state.
If electron absorbs energy, maybe
by being heated or collision with
another electron, it may be
Ground state promoted to a higher energy level.
The energy absorbed is exactly
equal to the difference in energy of
the two levels.
Under these conditions the atom is
being in an excited state.
Excited state

Emission lines - Composition of light emitted by hot gases

Absorption lines When white light is passed through cool

Band Theory
Why certain of materials can conduct better?
Why some of materials cannot conduct at all?
Band Theory
Gas atoms that exert negligible
electrical force on each other
are known as isolated atoms.
So, they give simple line
In a solid or liquid, the electron
energy levels are very close
An electron can have an energy
at any level in one of the bands.
It cannot have an energy value
which lies in the forbidden gap
between bands.
Band Theory
In a metal, one band, known as
conduction band, is only partially
The electrons in the conduction
band are the conduction or free
electrons which give the metal its
In an insulator, the conduction
band is unoccupied.
The band below this, known as the
valence band, is fully occupied.
An electron whose energy lies in
the valence band is bound to an
individual atom.
Band Theory - Conductor
When a piece of metal connected to a cell, the
electrons gain energy.
It so happen that there is a empty energy
levels higher in the band into which these
electrons can move.
When they have moved upwards they are free
to move through the metal, and so there is a
Band Theory - Insulator
In an insulator, there is a large energy gap
between the top of the valence band and the
bottom of the conduction band.
The voltage of a cell is insufficient to lift even
the most energetic across the gap and into the
conduction band.
This means that the electrons are not free to
move through the material.
Band Theory - Semiconductor
A semiconductor is a material which conducts very
slightly electric current.
The band diagram is similar to an insulator.
Its valence band is full and its conduction band is empty.
But the gap between the two is very small.
At room temperature, a few electrons have enough
energy to jump across the gap into the conduction band.
These electrons are free and can form a current.
Semiconductor can conduct better if heated because
more electrons will gain energy to jump over into
conduction band.
The resistance of semiconductor will be decreased and
opposite the resistance of metal.
This is intrinsic semiconductor. Example: silicon and
Band Theory - LDR
In a Light Dependent Resistance (LDR),
photons of light are absorbed by electrons in
the valence band.
So that they jump the gap and enter the
conduction band.
High resistance in dark and low resistance in
Production and use of X-rays
X-rays are a form of electromagnetic radiation.
They belong to the short-wavelength, high-
frequency end of the electromagnetic
spectrum, beyond ultraviolet radiation.
Wavelengths in the range of m to m and are
effectively the same as gamma-rays.
Production and use of X-rays
X-rays are produced when fast-moving
electrons are rapidly decelerated.
As the electrons slow down, their kinetic
energy is transformed to photons of
electromagnetic radiation.
X-rays used in medical applications are usually
as soft X-rays, because their energy is not
great which usually less than the energies of
X-ray tube
Cathode the heated
filament acts as the
cathode (negative) from
which electrons are
Anode the rotating
anode (positive) is made
of a hard metal such as
tungsten. (target metal)
An external power supply produces a voltage of up
to 200kV between the two electrodes.
This accelerates a beam of electrons across the gap
between the cathode and the anode.
The kinetic energy of an electron arriving at the
anode is 200 keV.
When the electrons strike the anode at high speed,
they lose some of their kinetic energy in the form of
X-ray photons which emerge in all directions.
Part of the outer casing, the windows, is thinner
than the rest and allows X-rays to emerge into the
space outside the tube.
Part of the outer casing, the windows, is thinner than the rest and
allows X-rays to emerge into the space outside the tube.
The width of the X-ray beam can be controlled using metal tubes
beyond the window to absorb X-rays.
This produces a parallel-sided beam called a collimated beam.
About 1%, of the kinetic energy of the electrons is converted to X-
Most of the incident energy is transferred to the anode which
becomes hot.
So, the anode rotates so that it can cool down by radiating heat to
its surroundings. Some X-ray tube have water circulating to remove
X-ray spectrum
The X-rays that emerge from an X-ray have a
range of energies.
The spectrum has two components, the broad
background hump of braking radiation
(Bremsstrahlung radiation) and few sharp
lines of characteristic radiation.
These arise from the different ways in which
an individual electron loses its energy when it
crashes into the anode.
X-ray spectra for a tungsten target with accelerating
voltages of 60 kV, 90 kV and 120 kV.
The continuous curve shows the braking radiation while
the sharp spikes are the characteristic X-rays.
The energy E gained by the electron when it is accelerated
through a potential difference of V is given by

This is the maximum energy that an X-ray photon can

have, and so the maximum X-ray frequency that can be
produced can be calculated from . Hence:

The X-rays of a whole range of energies are produced.

The lowest energy X-rays will not have sufficient energy to
penetrate through the body, so will have no effect on the
resulting image.
But, they will contribute to the overall X-ray dose that the
patient receives.
These X-rays must be filtered out by using aluminium
absorbers across the window of the tube.
X-ray attenuation
Bones look white in an X-ray photograph.
This is because they are good absorbers of X-
rays, so that little radiation arrives at the
photographic film to cause blackening.
Flesh and other soft tissues are less
absorbing, so the film is blackened.
X-rays are a form of ionising radiation.
Beam of X-rays is gradually absorbed as it
passes through material
The gradual decrease in the intensity of a
beam of X-rays as it passes through matter is
called attenuation.
Decreasing intensity
Intensity is the power per unit cross-sectional area.

The intensity of a collimated beam of X-rays decreases as

it passes through matter.
Attenuation of X-rays as they pass through a uniform
material as follows:

where is the initial intensity, is the thickness of the

material, is the transmitted intensity and is the
attenuation (absorption) coefficient of the material.
The hardness (penetration) of the X-ray beam is controlled
by accelerating voltage between the cathode and anode.
More penetrating X-rays have higher photon energies and
thus a larger accelerating potential is required
Longer wavelength X-rays (soft X-rays) are always
produced and soft X-rays not be able to pass through
But it would contribute to the total radiation dose without
any useful purpose.
An aluminium filter fitted across the window to absorb it.
Improving X-ray images
Radiographers have three main aims:
to reduce as much as possible the patients
exposure to harmful X-rays;
to improve the sharpness of the images, so that
finer details can be resolved;
to improve the contrast of the image, so that the
different tissues under investigation show up
clearly in the image.
Reducing dosage
X-rays like all ionising radiation, can damage living
tissue, causing mutations which can lead to the
growth of cancerous tissue.
It is important that the dosage is kept to a
Historically, patients had to be exposed to long and
intense doses of X-rays.
Today, intensifier screen which are sheets of a
material that contains phosphor, a substance that
emits visible light when it absorbs X-ray photons
are used.
The film is sandwiched between two intensifier
Each X-ray photon absorbed results in several
thousand light photons, which then blacken the
This reduces the patients exposure by a factor
of 100 - 150.
In digital systems, image intensifiers are used.
The incoming X-rays strike a phosphor screen,
producing visible light photons.
The electrons are accelerated and focused by
the positively charged anode so that they strike
a screen which then gives out visible light.
The image can be viewed via a television or
stored digitally.
Image intensifiers are particularly useful in a
technique called fluoroscopy which a
continuous X-ray beam is passed through the
patient onto a fluorescent screen.
Improving sharpness
The sharpness of the image is determined by the
width of the X-ray beam.
A good X-ray source produce a narrow beam of
parallel X-rays.
Three factors determine the width of the beam:
the size of the anode the larger the anode, the wider
the beam.
the size of the aperture at the exit window this can be
reduced using adjustable lead plates
collimation of the beam the beam is passed through
lead slits, ensuring that it is parallel sided beam and does
not fan out.
Improving contrast
Good contrast is said to be achieved if there is a
clear difference in the blackening of the
photographic film as the X-ray passes through
different types of tissue.
The contrast is largely determined by the
hardness of the X-rays.
Bone is a good absorber of the radiation, so hard
X-ray is used.
Tissue of the skin is a poor absorber, so softer
(long wavelength, low frequency) X-rays is used.
Different tissues show up differently in X-ray
In order to control the hardness of the X-ray,
contrast media are used.
A contrast media is a substance such as iodine or
barium which is a good absorber of X-rays.
The patient may swallow a barium- containing
liquid or have a similar liquid injected into the
tissue of interest.
Contrast media are elements with high values of
atomic number Z.
This means that their atoms have many electrons
with which the X-rays interact, so they are more
Substance Elements (Z Average Z
soft tissue H (1), C (6), O (8) 7
bone H (1), C (6), O (8), 14
P (15), Ca (20)
Contrast media I (53), Ba (56) 55
Barry Sheene (Moto GP champion)
Computerised axial tomography
( CAT/ CT)
A conventional X-ray image is only essentially
two-dimesional shadow image, it shows the
bones, organs etc at different depths within
the body superimposed on each other.
It is difficult to distinguish the bones of the
front and back.
But this can be overcome by taking several
images at different angles.
CAT scanner or CT scanner was
invented by Geoffrey Hounsfield and
his colleagues at EMI in the UK in
The patients lies in a vertical ring of X-
ray detectors.
The X-ray tube rotates around the ring,
exposing the patient to a fan-shaped
beam of X-rays from all directions.
Detectors opposite the tube send
electronic records to a computer.
The computer software builds up a
three-dimensional image of the
The radiographer can view images of
slices through the patient on the
computer screen.
In the latest generation (fifth-
generation) scanner, the patients
bed slides slowly through the ring
of detectors as the X-ray tube
The tube thus traces out a spiral
path around the patient, allowing
information to be gathered about
the whole body.
This technique relies on a
computer to control the scanning
motion and to gather and
manipulate the data to produce
Building up the image
We imagine the body as being divided up into
a large number of tiny cubes called voxels.
Now, we simplify the procedure by
considering 2 x 2 grid to a beam of X-rays from
four different directions.
Different parts of the body have different
For a well defined
image in a CAT scan,
we need the voxels to
be small.
Two things are
needed to achieve
The X-ray beam must
be well-collimated so
that is consists of
parallel rays rays
must not spread
The detector must
consists of a regular
array of tiny detecting
elements the
smaller, the better the
Advantages and disadvantages
Produce images that show three-dimensional
relationship between different tissues.
Can distinguish tissues with quite similar densities.
Exposure to X-ray
Patient underlying health problems or pregnant
woman is not encourage to undergo a CAT scan.