Parent Interventions: Babbling Help Babies In Language Development  |  Technology Inceptions: Tissue Chips in Space Program To Help in Disease Research  |  Science Innovations: Aerospace material from polymer  |  Science Innovations: Way to boost drug potency  |  Teacher Insights: Short Rest Intervals Help May Improve Memory and Learning  |  Parent Interventions: Constipation In Children May be Caused by Difference in Sensory Processing  |  Teacher Insights: Sibling bullying more in large families  |  Teacher Insights: Low earnings related to inattention at KG   |  Science Innovations: Bio-alternative to plastics  |  Science Innovations: Horseshoe crabs relatedto spiders   |  Teacher Insights: Young Children Can Understand the Facial Gestures of Adults  |  Parent Interventions: Alarming Rise in Kids Swallowing Foreign Objects   |  Teacher Insights: Neurofeedback Training Can Improve Learning, Control of Body Movements  |  Parent Interventions: Sleep Myths May Lead to Poor Sleep Habits and Health  |  Cover Story: Building a Startup Ecosystem  |  
  • Pallikkutam Magazine
  • Companion Magazine
  • Mentor
  • Smart Board
  • Pallikkutam Publications

September 24, 2018 Monday 03:20:33 PM IST
Photoelectric effect: Something even Einstein did not know!

As we know, light is composed of photons, the energy particles of light. What happens when photons fall on a metal surface? When the metal is exposed to light, electrons will be ejected from the surface, if the energy of photons is greater than a threshold value, known as the work function. This effect, invented by Hertz, was explained by Albert Einstein with the help of quantum nature of light, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921. How much time will a typical photoelectric emission take? A fact that even Einstein did not actually know!

Researchers of the Technical University of Munich (TUM), the Max-Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ), and the TU Wien experimentally measured the duration of photoelectric effect with the help of a measuring technique, which involves triggering a photoelectric effect by exposing X-rays to iodine atoms glued to tungsten crystal. The iodine atoms can serve as a source of light and as electron stopwatches, owing to their high reaction rate with X-rays.

The experiment shows that photoelectrons from the tungsten crystal can be generated in around 40 attoseconds-billionth of billionth of a second!

The researchers expect that this discovery may provide a basis for the development of new innovative high efficiency solar cells and molecular surface engineering.

DOI: 10.1038/s41586-018-0503-6

Comments