Abstract

Special cells having a hollow central cathode were immersed in liquid air for an extended period to insure that any gases, if present, were condensed on the outer alkali metal coated walls. The temperature of the cathode was controlled by a stream of evaporating liquid air, whereby all temperatures between +20 and −180°C could be attained and held constant and be measured. In these cells the variation of photoelectric current with temperature in sodium, potassium, and rubidium is continuous, without abrupt changes. The effect is relatively small for sodium, showing hardly at all for blue light or white light, but clearly for yellow light. The behavior of rubidium is similar to that previously reported for potassium.

In a second form of cell, potassium was collected in a deep pool. By slowly cooling the metal from the molten condition, smooth crystalline surfaces were obtained. With these annealed potassium surfaces, the variation of photoelectric current with temperature is represented by curves varying systemmatically in shape with the color of the light, and the effect is far greater than previously reported, amounting, for yellow light, to a variation of 10 to 15 times between room and liquid air temperature. When the surface is roughened curves of the previously reported type are obtained. Small pools give erratic effects, showing changes in opposite directions for different portions of the temperature range. It is concluded that the variation of photoelectric effect is intimately connected with the strains produced in the surface by expansion and contraction with temperature.

© 1925 Optical Society of America

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References

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  1. Ives, J.O.S.A & R.S.I., p. 551, April, 1924.
    [CrossRef]
  2. Cioffi and Taylor., J.O.S.A. & R.S.I.,  6, p. 906; 1922.
    [CrossRef]
  3. Burt, Phys. Rev., p. 207, Aug., 1924.
  4. Hornbeck, Phys. Rev., p. 631, Dec., 1924.
    [CrossRef]
  5. Bidwell, Phys. Rev., p. 357, Oct., 1924.
    [CrossRef]

1924 (4)

Ives, J.O.S.A & R.S.I., p. 551, April, 1924.
[CrossRef]

Burt, Phys. Rev., p. 207, Aug., 1924.

Hornbeck, Phys. Rev., p. 631, Dec., 1924.
[CrossRef]

Bidwell, Phys. Rev., p. 357, Oct., 1924.
[CrossRef]

1922 (1)

Cioffi and Taylor., J.O.S.A. & R.S.I.,  6, p. 906; 1922.
[CrossRef]

Bidwell,

Bidwell, Phys. Rev., p. 357, Oct., 1924.
[CrossRef]

Burt,

Burt, Phys. Rev., p. 207, Aug., 1924.

Cioffi,

Cioffi and Taylor., J.O.S.A. & R.S.I.,  6, p. 906; 1922.
[CrossRef]

Hornbeck,

Hornbeck, Phys. Rev., p. 631, Dec., 1924.
[CrossRef]

Ives,

Ives, J.O.S.A & R.S.I., p. 551, April, 1924.
[CrossRef]

Taylor,

Cioffi and Taylor., J.O.S.A. & R.S.I.,  6, p. 906; 1922.
[CrossRef]

J.O.S.A & R.S.I. (1)

Ives, J.O.S.A & R.S.I., p. 551, April, 1924.
[CrossRef]

J.O.S.A. & R.S.I. (1)

Cioffi and Taylor., J.O.S.A. & R.S.I.,  6, p. 906; 1922.
[CrossRef]

Phys. Rev. (3)

Burt, Phys. Rev., p. 207, Aug., 1924.

Hornbeck, Phys. Rev., p. 631, Dec., 1924.
[CrossRef]

Bidwell, Phys. Rev., p. 357, Oct., 1924.
[CrossRef]

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Figures (11)

F. 1
F. 1

Section of photoelectric cell used in first series of experiments, with system for supplying evaporating liquid air to hollow central electrode.

F. 2
F. 2

Temperature difference between top and bottom of central electrode as function of time after changing the rale of evaporation of liquid air.

F. 3
F. 3

Effect of temperature on photoelectric currents from sodium, potassium, and rubidium.

F. 4
F. 4

Second form of photoelectric cell with its temperature controlling and measuring apparatus.

F. 5
F. 5

Variation of photoelectric effect with temperature in annealed specular potassium surface.

F. 6
F. 6

Same cell as Fig. 5 with surface roughened.

F. 7
F. 7

Check curve for yellow light, on same cell as Figs. 5 and 6, after re-annealing.

F. 8
F. 8

Photoelectric effect versus temperature curves for thin condensed film on interior of bulb of cell of type shown in Fig. 4.

F. 9
F. 9

Photoelectric effect versus temperature curves for annealed solid pool of potassium formed in same cell as thin layer whose measurements are given in Fig. 8.

F. 10
F. 10

Photoelectric effect versus temperature curves for very small pool of potassium.

F. 11
F. 11

Suggested explanation of temperature effect as shift of work function value.