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Excitation and the photoelectric effect. watch

    • Thread Starter

    When an electron is excited by a free electron or photon, it goes up an energy level, and then falls to the ground state and emits a photon. Why does the photoelectric effect allow electrons to be removed from the metal instead of simply falling back down? Is it because metal is a good conductor, or can photoelectrons be released in interactions with nonmetals? Thanks in advance.

    In metals the electrons are in a loose connection to the metal's atoms. In nonmetallic materials the electrons are more tightly bound the the nuclei.
    In other materials there are electrons that are excited by photons and jump up in energy but they then simply fall back to the level they were before excitation, and emit another photon in the process.
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