The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Do radio waves produce a photoelectric effect?  (Read 4512 times)

malcolm

  • Guest
Do radio waves produce a photoelectric effect?
« on: 11/12/2009 08:30:02 »
malcolm asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Photons are much discussed in the context of visible light, but I never hear of the particle theory applied to any other electromagnetic 'wave' phenomena.

Have any other electromagnetic waves been tested against the photoelectric effect, radio waves for instance?

What do you think?


 

Offline Mr. Scientist

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1451
  • Thanked: 2 times
  • http://www.facebook.com/#/profile.php?ref=profile&
    • View Profile
    • Time Theory
Do radio waves produce a photoelectric effect?
« Reply #1 on: 11/12/2009 08:58:50 »
They are all types of photon frequencies. It's the frequency which releases electrons from a metal surface.
 

Offline Mr. Scientist

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1451
  • Thanked: 2 times
  • http://www.facebook.com/#/profile.php?ref=profile&
    • View Profile
    • Time Theory
Do radio waves produce a photoelectric effect?
« Reply #2 on: 11/12/2009 09:00:53 »
And i should say.. it specifically-requires them to have short wavelengths.
 

Offline chris

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 5339
  • Thanked: 65 times
  • The Naked Scientist
    • View Profile
    • The Naked Scientists
Do radio waves produce a photoelectric effect?
« Reply #3 on: 11/12/2009 09:18:35 »
By short wavelengths (aka high frequencies) read higher energy - shorter wavelengths pack a bigger photon punch, which is why lights of different colours liberate different amounts of charge from a photoelectric surface - explaining this was what earned Einstein his Nobel prize.

By the same token, it also explains why x-rays and gamma rays can cause cancer but microwaves can't. They are all electromagnetic waves but the highly energetic short wavelength x-rays and gamma rays have sufficient energy to ionise materials (break bonds) and hence can damage DNA. Microwaves and radiowaves, whilst eliciting a heating effect, are insufficiently energetic to break bonds and hence cannot cause cancer in the traditional sense (that's not to say they cannot produce other biochemical responses with onward malignant consequences...).

Chris
 

Offline yor_on

  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 11999
  • Thanked: 4 times
  • (Ah, yes:) *a table is always good to hide under*
    • View Profile
Do radio waves produce a photoelectric effect?
« Reply #4 on: 12/12/2009 19:35:46 »
I think you will like this one Malcolm, it's a cool explanation.
http://www.colorado.edu/physics/2000/quantumzone/photoelectric.html
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Do radio waves produce a photoelectric effect?
« Reply #4 on: 12/12/2009 19:35:46 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums