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Key Concepts in Colour


HSC Physics Topic 3

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From Ideas to Implementation


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KCiC Physics 7 Ideas to Implementation
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Slide 1

HSC Physics Topic 3

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From Ideas to Implementation


About the Same Time as Cathode Rays were

First, an introduction:
The History of Physics
is marked by a number of landmark discoveries that changed our
understanding of the Universe, such as Newtons Laws of Motion,
and Gravitation, and Einsteins Theory of Relativity.
This topic covers a number of other great discoveries, experiments
and scientists, so it is definitely a study of the History of Physics,
from about 1850 into the 20th century.
However, it is not just history. Along the way, you will be studying
some concepts, theories and facts that are vital to your overall
understanding of this subject.
In addition, as you learn both the history and some of the foundation
ideas of modern Physics, you will see that much of our modern
technology is a direct result these discoveries...

becoming understood, other scientists were studying


electromagnetic radiation and obscure phenomena such as the
Photoelectric Effect.

No-one could have


guessed that this led to,
not only the radio and
mobile phone, but to
solar cells...

and Meanwhile,
the unravelling of atomic structure and study of electrical
conductivity in weird substances like Germanium and Silicon,
led to the discovery of semiconductors.

The invention of the


transistor followed... the
basis of all modern
electronics and
computer systems.

When Cathode Rays were being studied between


1850-1900, people said interesting,
but whats the use of it??
Little did they know...
...the study of
Cathode Rays led
directly to the
invention of the
TV set, so
familiar today.
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The Study of
Crystal
Structure
led to the discovery of
Superconductors,
the applications of which are
only just beginning to be
implemented.

Slide 2

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Cathode
Rays

Behaviour of
Charged Particles in
a Magnetic Field

1. From Cathode
Rays to Television

Hertzs Discovery of Radio Waves


Discovery of the
Electron.
Thomsons
Experiment.

Planks
Quantum
Theory

Television

2. From Radio to
Photocells.
QUANTUM THEORY

FROM IDEAS TO
IMPLEMENTATION

Einsteins
New Model
of Light

Photoelectric
Effect

Atomic
Structure &
Lattices

3. From Atoms
to Computers
4. From Crystals
to Superconductors

Band
Theory for
Conductors
Conductors &
Superconductors

Current & Future


Applications
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Slide 3

Valves,
Transistors &
Microprocessors

SemiConductors

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1. FROM CATHODE RAYS TO TELEVISION

The Discovery of Cathode Rays


By the 1850s, scientists had developed the technology
to produce quite high voltages of electricity and to
make sealed glass tubes from which most of the air had
been removed using a vacuum pump.
It wasnt long before these 2 things were combined, and
some mysterious phenomena were discovered.
You may have done some laboratory investigations
with Discharge Tubes as shown at right.

Each tube contains a different pressure of gas.


(All are very low pressure, but some lower than
others.) High voltage from an induction coil is
applied to each tube in turn.

This tube is glowing


and showing light
and dark bands, or
striations

It was soon established that whatever was causing


these glows or discharges in the tubes was coming
from the negative electrode, or cathode...so these
emissions were called Cathode Rays.
Over the following 20 years these mysterious rays
were studied by many scientists. Sir William Crookes
devised so many clever variations on these Cathode
Ray Tubes (CRTs) that they were known as Crookes
Tubes.
You will have seen, in the school laboratory, a number
of different CRTs and repeated many of Crookess
famous experiments... next slide.
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Slide 4

The result is that each tube shows glowing


streamers, or light and dark bands,
or glows at the end(s).
The patterns change at different gas pressures.
At the very lowest pressure, there is no glow from
the gas, but the glass tube glows at one end.
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Maltese Cross Tube


CATHODE
(-v
ve)

Tube With a
Fluorescent Screen

Experiments with CRTs

ANODE (+ve) in
the shape of a
Maltese Cross

A beam of Cathode Rays


can cause a fluorescent
screen to glow.
Fluorescence was known
to be caused by certain
waves, such as ultraviolet (UV) rays

Wheel spins when cathode


rays strike the paddles.

Shadow of the cross in the


glow at the end of the tube

This shows that the


rays have
momentum, and
therefore have mass.

What does this prove?


Cathode Rays travel in straight lines,
from the Cathode.

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Tube Containing
Electric Plates

CRT with
fluorescent
screen

Crookes tried this experiment with many


different metals as his electrodes. The
type of metal made no difference...
Cathode Rays are identical, regardless of
the materials used.
The evidence from these various
experiments was very inconsistent...
some of the features of cathode rays
suggested they are particles, other
results suggested they are waves.

Tube With a
Rotating
Paddle-Wheel

What does this prove?


Cathode Rays must be a
stream of charged
particles.

Beam of
cathode rays
on screen
Electric
plates on
either side
of beam
(no voltage
applied yet)

-ve

+ve

When voltage is applied to the plates,


the beam deflects
Slide 5

In fact, by considering
the charge on the plates
at left, it follows that the
particles must be
negatively charged,
because the beam is
deflected by repulsion
from the negative plate,
and attraction towards
the positive.

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Confusion About
Cathode Rays

Unfortunately, when the early


experimenters tried experiments similar
to those in the previous slide, they got a
variety of confusing and conflicting
results.
Consequently they were confused about
the nature of the Cathode Rays.

Evidence that CRs are Waves


Cathode Rays:
Travel in straight lines like light waves.
Cause fluorescence, like ultra-violet.
Can expose photographic film,
just as light does.

Evidence that CRs were Particles


Cathode Rays:
Carry kinetic energy and momentum,
and therefore must have mass.
Carry negative electric charge.
(but this vital clue was missed!)
All these investigations and discoveries involved
the Cathode Ray Tube. This is a relatively simple
device that allows the manipulation of a
stream of charged particles.

This debate was finally settled by a famous experiment you will study soon...
In 1897, J.J. Thomson showed that cathode rays had both mass and negative charge.
He had discovered the electron.
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Slide 6

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Activity 1

The following activity might be completed by class discussion,


or your teacher may have paper copies for you to do.

Cathode Rays

Student Name .................................

1. Which 2 technologies, both available from about 1850, were combined to


make the early discharge tubes?
2. Name the great English scientist of the 19th century who was famous for his
experiments with cathode rays.
3. Why were they called cathode rays?
4. List 3 pieces of evidence which suggested, to early investigators, that the
mysterious rays were a type of wave radiation.

5.
a) What did the experiments with a paddle-wheel CRT suggest about the rays?
b) What did the experiments with a CRT fitted with a fluorecent screen and
electric deflection plates suggest about the rays?

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Slide 7

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Electric Fields

The strength of the field is defined as the force per


unit of charge experienced by a charge in the field...

E= F
Q

In a Preliminary Course topic you learned that:


Electric Charges exert force on each other...
...like charges REPEL each other.
...opposite charges ATTRACT each other.
Charges act as if surrounded by a Force Field.
FIELDS AROUND POINT CHARGES
By definition,
the direction of
the field is the
way a positive
charge would
move in the
field

However, in this topic we are more interested in calculating forces, so

F = Q.E

is more useful.

F = Force, in newtons (N), experience by the charge.


Q = Electric charge in coulombs (C).
E = Electric field strength,
in newtons per coulomb (NC-1)
Note: In this topic the most common charged particle
we deal with is the electron. The value of its charge is

Qe = (-)1.602 x 10-19C.
Get used to this very small value.

FIELDS BETWEEN POINT CHARGES


Repulsion

Example Calculation
In a CRT, a stream of electrons passes between 2
electrically charge plates. The electric field strength is
400NC-1. What is the force acting on each electron?

Solution

Attraction
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Slide 8

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F = Q.E
= -1.602x10-19 x 400
= -6.41x10-17N.

The negative sign simply means that the direction of the


force is in the opposite direction to the electric field.

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Electric Field Between Parallel Charged Plates

The field around and between point charges is


irregular in direction, and varies in strength at every
point.
The field between parallel charge plates, however, is
uniform in strength and direction at every point
(except at the edges). The direction of the field is the
way a positive charge would move.
The strength of the field depends on the Voltage
applied to the plates, and the distance between
them:

E= V
d

Slide 9

Negatively (-v
ve)
charged plate

Uniform Field
Between Plates

Example Calculation
Two parallel plates are 1.25cm apart. (convert to metres)
A voltage of 12.0V is applied across the plates.
What is the magnitude of the field between the plates?

Solution

E = Electric Field strength, in NC-1.


V = Voltage applied to the plates, in volts (V).
d = distance between the plates, in metres (m).
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Positively (+ve)
charged plate

E=V/d
= 12.0 / 0.0125
= 960NC-1.
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Force on a Moving Charge in a Magnetic Field

In the previous topic you learned that when an electric


current flows through a magnetic field, the wire
experiences a force... the Motor Effect.
Now you need to realise that the reason is that every
electric charge, if moving through a magnetic field, will
experience a force.
You may have seen the following experiment with a CRT
in the laboratory:

The size of the force can be calculated as follows:

F = QvBsin
F = Force acting, in newtons (N).
Q = Electric charge, in coulombs (C).
v = velocity of the charged particle, in ms-1.
B = Magnetic Field strength, in Tesla (T).
= Angle between the velocity vector and the
magnetic field vector lines.

Since sin90o = 1,
and sin0o = 0,

CRT with fluorescent


screen. The beam of
cathode rays goes
straight across.

Magnetic
Field

then maximum force occurs when the charge moves


at right angles to the field.

Example Calculation

If a magnet is brought near, the


beam deflects.
A force is acting on the moving
charged particles.
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In the CRT at left, the cathode rays


(electrons; Qe=-1.602x10-19C) are moving
at a velocity of 2.50x106ms-1. The magnet
provides a field of 0.0235T. Held as shown,
the field lines are at an angle of 70o to the
beam.
What force acts on each electron?

Solution

F = QvBsin
= -1.602x10-19x2.50x106x0.0235xsin70o
= -8.84 x 10-15N.
(negative sign simply refers to direction)
Slide 10

Direction of the force?


Remember the
Right-Hand Palm Rule?
Velocity vector, v

Magnetic
Field B
Force, F
However, this applies to
positive (+ve) charges.
For negative charges ( -ve) the
force is in the opposite
direction... back of hand side.
Check that the deflection in the
photo at left is correct.

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Discovery of the Electron...


Thomsons Experiment

In 1897, the confusion and debate about Cathode rays


was settled by one of the most famous, and critically
important, experiments in the history of Science.
The British physicist Sir John Joseph Thomson set
up an experiment in which cathode rays could be
passed through both an electric field, and through a
magnetic field, at the same time.

Electric Field Effect

(charged plates)

-ve

The strengths of the fields could be calculated from the


currents and voltages applied to the plates and
electromagnets, so Thomson was able to calculate the
ratio between the charge and mass of the cathode rays.

This established beyond doubt that cathode rays were


particles, not waves.

E field
down page

Variable voltage

Magnetic Field Effect

Fluorescent screen to
measure deflection
(Adjustable Electromagnets)

Cathode Rays

B into page

Thomson was able to adjust the strengths of the 2


fields so that their opposite effects exactly cancelled
out, and the beam went straight through to the centre
of the screen.

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Force due to = Force due to


Electric Field
Magnetic Field

Charge to mass ratio = Q


m

+ve

Cathode Rays

When the 2 forces cancel;

Slide 11

Furthermore, he repeated the experiment with many


different cathode materials and always got the same
result. This meant that the exact same cathode ray
particles were coming from every type of atom.
Other experimenters had already determined the
charge-mass ratio for the hydrogen atom (the smallest
atom). It was apparent that the cathode ray particle was
much smaller than a hydrogen atom. The conclusion
was that all atoms must be made of smaller parts, one
of which was the cathode ray particle, soon re-named
the ELECTRON.
This was a vital piece of knowledge for better
understanding of atoms and electricity, and the
development of many new technologies.
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How a TV Screen Works

Thomson used a fluorescent screen at the


end of his CRT to detect and measure the
deflection of the cathode rays (electrons).

The Deflection Plates

Over the following 30 years, CRT


technology evolved into the television
screen. By the middle of the 20th century,
TV was developing to become the major
system for home entertainment and by the
1980s the same screens became the vital
display units for computers.

One set of charged plates are arranged so


the field can deflect the beam up or down.
Another set are arranged at right angles to
cause deflection left or right.

A TV picture-tube is really just a more


sophisticated version of Thomsons CRT.
The image on the screen is made up of thousands of
spots of light, created as cathode rays strike a
fluorescent screen on the inside of the glass.

The Fluorescent Screen

are used to deflect the beam to create spots


of light at different points on the screen.

Between them, the sets of plates can steer


the beam onto any point on the screen.

The 3 main parts of a TV picture-tube are:

The Electron Gun


produces the beam of cathode rays (electrons).
The electrons leave a cathode, and are accelerated
towards a series of anodes by the high voltage
electric field between them, just like in the CRTs of
Crookes or Thompson.
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Slide 12

glows with light when the electron beam


strikes the fluorescent chemical coated on the inside
of the glass.
The total image is built from many thousands of lightspots (pixels = picture elements). The illusion of
movement is achieved by replacing each full-screen
picture many times per second.
To produce colour TV there are actually 3 electron
guns, and 3 sets of deflection plates. Three separate
beams are steered onto separate spots of fluorescent
chemicals which glow red, green or blue (RGB). The
final colour is a combination of these 3 colours
combined.
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Activity 2

The following activity might be completed by class discussion,


or your teacher may have paper copies for you to do.

CRTs, Electrons & TVs

Student Name .................................

1. The effect of a magnetic field on a moving, charged particle can be described


. State what is meant by each of
mathematically by the equation F = QvB sin
these symbols.

2.
a) Outline the famous experiment done by JJ Thomson in 1897.
b) What did he actually measure as his final result?
c) He repeated the experiment with a variety of cathodes made from different
metals and got the same result each time. What was the conclusion from this?
3. Outline the function of these main parts of a TV picture tube.
a) Electron gun.
b) Deflection plates.
c) Fluorescent screen.
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Slide 13

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2. FROM RADIO to PHOTOCELLS: QUANTUM THEORY

The Radio Experiments of Hertz


By the 1880s, the theory of electromagnetic radiation
(EMR) had been around for 20 years, but no-one had
found proof that these waves existed. Until, that is,
the famous experiment of Heinrich Hertz in 1887.
Using the familiar induction coil to produce sparks
across a gap, Hertz showed that some invisible waves
were being produced...

Hertz had discovered radio waves.


Radio waves
emitted from spark
spark
gap

High-v
voltage
Induction coil

Sparks produced in small


gap in receiving loop

Wire loop acts as a receiving


antenna. The radio waves induce
currents in the wire, and sparks
in the gap.

Hertz went on to experiment with these invisible


waves and showed that they could be reflected,
refracted, polarised and diffracted just like light
waves. The clincher was when he measured their
velocity and got an answer of 3x108ms-1...
the waves were travelling at the speed of light!
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Slide 14

This was powerful evidence supporting the theory that


light was just one of a whole spectrum of
Electromagnetic waves that had been predicted earlier.
In recognition of Hertzs contribution to our knowledge
of waves, the unit of wave frequency (Hz) is named in
his honour.
Within another 20 years, radio was being used for
long-distance communications using morse code.
Within 100 years the world was blanketed with radio
transmissions for communication and entertainment.

HOW DID HERTZ MEASURE SPEED OF THE


RADIO WAVES?
He reflected the radio waves (from metal sheets) so
that they set up interference patterns. By moving
his receiving loop around the lab. he could
measure exactly where the peaks of interference
occurred (where the waves added in amplitude).
From this, the wavelengths of the waves
were calculated.
The frequency could be determined from the
settings of his wave transmitter.
Then the wave equation was used: V = .f
He found the radio waves travelled at the
speed of light.
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What Hertz Failed to Investigate

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Investigating Radio Waves


You may have done some simple studies in the
laboratory, such as:
Array of wire connected to induction
coil acts as a transmitting antenna
The induction coils high-v
voltage
sparking produces all sorts of
EMR, including radio, light, UV &
even X-rrays.

In one of his many experiments with the new waves


he had discovered, Hertz found that his receiving
loop became more sensitive and sparked more if it
was exposed to other radiations coming from his
transmitter.
He didnt realise the significance of this observation,
and failed to follow up on it.
We now know (with perfect hind-sight) that he had
produced the Photoelectric Effect:
Ultra-v
violet rays give their
energy to electrons on the
metal surface.
Wire of receiving loop.

This can eject an


electron from the surface
so sparks are more likely.
Spark gap

Later, this phenomenon was used by Einstein as


proof of the new Quantum Theory... read on.

Induction coil
& Power Pack

Radio receiver picks up loud


bursts of noise, from some
distance away

By adding a tapping key switch to the transmitter


circuit, it is easy to send messages to the receiver in
the form of dots-and-dashes of static noise.
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This Photoelectric Effect was exploited in the 20th


century to develop the technology of photocells and
solar cells.
Solar
Cells

Slide 15

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Black Body Radiation

In a previous Preliminary topic


(Cosmic Engine) you learned about
the way that energy is radiated from
hot objects. A perfect emitter of
radiation had become known as a
black-body...
It was well known that as a black body
became hotter, it not only emitted more
energy as radiation, but that the
wavelength of the peak of the radiation
became shorter, and frequency became
higher.
The problem was that the standard
Physics theories of the time could not
explain the shape of these graphs, which
were obtained from experiment.
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Slide 16

Amount of Energy Radiated

peak
wavelength
shorter

HOT BODY
RADIATION
CURVES
very hot
object

peak
wavelength

hot object

warm
peak wavelength
longer
shorter

object

longer
Wavelength of Radiation

The explanation for the Black-Body


Radiation required a totally new idea.
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Planks
Quantum Theory

In 1900, Max Plank proposed a radical new theory to


explain the black body radiation. He found that the only
way to explain the exact details coming from the
experiments, was that the energy was quantised: emitted
or absorbed in little packets called quanta.
(singular quantum)
The existing theories of classical Physics assumed
that the amount of energy carried by a light wave
could have any value, on a continuous scale. Planks
theory was that the energy could only take certain
values, based on units or quanta of energy.
Its the same as with matter: The smallest amount of
(say) carbon you can have is 1 atom. Then you can
have 2 atoms, 3 atoms and so on, BUT you cannot
have 1/2 atoms of carbon... the matter is quantised,
with whole atoms as the minimum quantum. Well,
says Plank, energy is the same!
Planks Quantum Theory proposed that the amount of
energy carried by a quantum of light is related to
the frequency of the light.

Problems with Classical Physics

E = h.f
E = energy of a quantum, in joules ( J)
h = Planks constant, with a value of 6.63x10-34
f = frequency of the wave, in hertz (Hz)
You are reminded also, of the wave equation:

V = .f

.f
(or, for light) c =

c = velocity of light (in vacuum) = 3.00x108ms-1.


= wavelength, in metres (m).
f = frequency, in hertz (Hz)

Example Calculation

A ray of red light has a wavelength of 6.50x10-7m.


a) What is its frequency?
b) How much energy is carried by one quantum of this light?

Solution

.f
a)
c =
3.00x108 = 6.50x10-7x f
f = 3.00x108/6.50x10-7
= 4.62x1014Hz.
b) E = h.f
= 6.63x10-34 x 4.62x1014
= 3.06x10-19 J.
What IS the Photoelectric Effect?
When metal surfaces are exposed to light waves
(especially high frequency light or ultra-violet) some
electrons are found to be ejected from the metal surface,
as long as a certain critical energy level is exceeded.

At the same time that Plank was proposing his Quantum Theory to explain
the Black Body radiation details, the Photoelectric Effect (that Hertz had
observed but failed to study) was being investigated by others.
Experiments on the photoelectric effect were producing results that could
NOT be explained by the existing theory of light. For a century or more, light had been accepted as a wave. This explained its
reflection, refraction, interference, and many other phenomena. However, the photoelectric effect experiments were giving results
that suggested light was best explained as a stream of particles... this could turn Science on its ear!
Enter Albert Einstein...
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Slide 17

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Einstein and Quantum Theory

It was Albert Einstein who came to the rescue and


neatly combined Planks Quantum Theory with the
classical wave theory of light, in a way that solved all
the apparent conflicts, and explained the
Photoelectric Effect as well!
To keep it as simple as possible, (K.I.S.S. Principle)
Einstein proposed that:
Light is a wave, but
the energy of the wave is concentrated in little
packets or bundles of wave energy,
now called Photons.
Each photon of light has an amount of energy given
by E = h.f, according to Planks Quantum Theory.
When a photon interacts with matter, it can either
transfer all its energy, or none of it...
it cannot transfer part of its quantised energy.
Light is NOT
a stream of particles
Light is NOT
a wave

Light is a stream of wave packets... PHOTONS.


They have wave properties... refraction, interference, etc.
They can also behave like a particle sometimes.
Each photon is a Quantum of light energy.
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Slide 18

Einsteins model for light involves a duality... light


must have a dual nature. Many of its properties are
wave related; e.g. ability to reflect, refract and show
interference patterns. In other cases, especially when
energy transfers are occurring, the light photons are
like little particles.
This explained the Black Body Radiation curves, and
the weird features of the Photoelectric Effect.

Confirmation of Einsteins Model


Einsteins idea is very neat, but is it correct?
Einstein was able to make certain mathematical
predictions regarding further features of the
Photoelectric Effect. (The exact details are
complicated, and not required learning.)
In 1916, the experiments were done to test Einsteins
predictions, and the results agreed with his predictions
precisely!
This was confirmation that the photon theory of light,
and the quantum theory of energy were both correct.
Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in
1921, for his contribution to understanding the
Photoelectric Effect.
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Applications of the Photoelectric Effect

Solar Cells
Solar Cells (or photovoltaic cells) are devices which produce
electricity directly from light energy. They are very familiar in the
popular garden lights which need no wiring or battery replacements.
During the day, the solar cell(s) charge up a small re-chargable
battery. At night, the battery provides electricity to a low-power
garden lamp.
More importantly, solar cells hold the promise of cheap, efficient,
environmentally-friendly electricity production. Solar-powered
homes are becoming more and more common as the technology
becomes more affordable and more people are concerned by the
environmental problems of conventional electricity production.

Small array of solar cells powering


a small electric motor and fan

Solar cells produce electricity from the Photoelectric Effect:


Light photons falling on the cell give up their quantum of energy to electrons
in a sandwich of semiconductor material, called a p-n junction. The energy
gained by electrons causes them to be emitted so that they travel through
the semiconductor structure and create a potential difference across it. This
voltage causes a current to flow in the electrical circuit.

Photocells
A photocell is a device which can detect and measure light. Photocells are used in light meters (photography),
electric-eyes and a variety of light-measuring scientific equipment, such as photometers.
Once again, the photoelectric effect is involved. When a photon of light strikes the receiving surface, its energy
causes emission of an electron, which is collected on a nearby anode. A sensitive electric circuit is able to measure
the level of electron emission, and this gives a measure of the amount of light being received.
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Slide 19

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Activity 3

The following activity might be completed by class discussion,


or your teacher may have paper copies for you to do.

Quantum Theory & Photoelectric Effect


1. What did Heinrich Hertz discover in 1887?

Student Name .................................

2. What was Max Plank attempting to explain when he proposed his theory of
energy quanta in 1900?
3. What is the Photoelectric Effect?

4. What did Einstein suggest about the nature of light waves in 1905?

5. List 2 technologies which are applications of the Photoelectric Effect.


For each, describe an important use of the technology.

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Slide 20

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Assessment of
Einsteins Contribution to Quantum Theory

Assess means to measure or judge the value of something. The syllabus


requires you to assess Einsteins contribution to the Quantum Theory in
relation to Black Body Radiation.

Einstein,
1905

To begin with, you might note that Einstein did NOT think up the Quantum
Theory... Max Plank did that in 1900. However, it seems that Plank invented
the quantum idea purely as a mathematical trick to explain the Black
Body Radiation curves. Plank never proposed that the quanta might give
light a particle-like nature. Plank never suggested that the old ideas of
classical Physics might need changing.
It was Einstein who did that! His particle-wave (photon) idea combined
Planks Quantum Theory with the classical idea that light is a wave.
This totally new way to look at things was one of the turning points of
modern Physics, and set other scientists off into new and innovative directions of research.
It should be noted that the other major turning point for Physics was Einsteins Theory of Relativity,
which he proposed in the same year (1905).

No wonder we credit him as being one of the greatest!


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Slide 21

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Is Science Research Removed from Social & Political Forces?

In World Wars I & II, Science and scientists


played a major role in research and development
of new weapons and war technologies. Some
examples include:
radio communications and Radar.
nuclear weapons.
rockets.
new aircraft designs and jet engines.
chemical weapons such as poison gas.
There are two contrasting views about the
morality of weapons research, and the two great
scientists of this section of the topic epitomise
these different views.
Max Plank was a patriotic German who believed
that it was his duty to help his country fight a
war. He gladly contributed to weapons research
in WW I, and leading up to WW II he was the
director of the main Scientific Institute in Nazi
Germany. Planks outlook seems to have been
that Science is part of the political & social
structure, and must take an active role in it.

In the 1930s Einstein was forced to flee Nazi Germany


because he was of Jewish descent. In America, he warned
the President about the possible development of an atomic
bomb by the Nazis. This caused the Americans to begin the
research which led to the first atomic bomb, developed
directly from Einsteins theories. He was not involved in the
research, but was appalled when the atomic bomb was used
against Japan in 1945.
Einstein believed that Science is a process that should work
for peace and the good of all people, and not be involved in
the political & social forces that come and go.
Who was right? There is no correct, nor simple, answer to
that. You must form your own opinion... just be sure you
have an informed opinion.
Atom-b
bomb damage
Hiroshima, Japan

Albert Einstein was German-born, but became a


Swiss citizen, and later American. In WW I he
(and only 3 others) signed an anti-war
declaration. He spent the war in neutral
Switzerland, lobbying for peace and an end to
war.
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Slide 22
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3. FROM ATOMS to COMPUTERS: SEMICONDUCTORS

Structure
of an
After Thomson identified the electron as a particle ATOM
present in all atoms, it didnt take long for scientists to
figure out the details of atomic structure. You are
reminded of the basic model of a typical atom:

Revision of Atomic Structure

Electrical Conductivity

Electrons in orbit at different


Energy Levels

Electrons are quite easy to


remove from some atoms...
this leads to electrical
conductivity, the Photoelectric
Effect, etc

Atomic Nucleus
When millions and billions of atoms form a
of protons & neutrons
lattice structure (most strong solids are like
this) they do so by forming chemical bonds with
each other in a regular array.
In a metal atom, the outer (valence) electrons are very loosely
held by the atomic nucleus. They feel the force of attraction
ATOMS in a SOLID ARRAY
from other, surrounding atoms just as strongly as the attraction
Electrical Conduction occurs when electrons can
from their own atom. The result is that these outer electrons can
migrate freely from one atom to the next
easily move from atom to atom.
Migrating
electron

Chemical
Bonds

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In a
conductor,
electrons
can jump
from one
atom to
the next

If an electric field is present (due to a voltage being applied)


billions of electrons begin moving in the same direction... an
electric current is flowing, and we say the metal is a good
Conductor.
In other solids such as plastic or glass, the outer valence
electrons are more strongly attracted to their own atom, and
cannot easily escape from it, to move from atom to atom. We say
these things are poor conductors, or good Insulators.
Slide 23

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Band Structure Theory

The explanation given in the previous slide for


conductors and insulators is OK, until you find out
about Semiconductors. Elements such as Silicon
and Germanium have a number of strange
properties including being rather poor conductors of
electricity until given a little jolt of energy. Then,
suddenly they become quite good conductors.
This ability, called Semiconductivity, allows
these materials to act as electrical switches,
turning electrical currents on and off,
according to their energy state.
This is the basis of all modern
electronics & computer systems
To understand semiconductivity, you need to learn
about Band Structures
We have known since the early 20th century that the
electrons around an atom can occupy different
orbits or energy levels surrounding the nucleus.
These energy levels are quantised (Quantum
Theory applies) so there may be forbidden energy
zones between them. An electron cannot exist in
this fobidden zone because the energy level there
does NOT correspond to a whole quantum.
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Slide 24

The unoccupied band


above the valence band,
is called the
conduction band.

Forbidden
energy gap.
Electrons
cannot exist
here.

The highest energy level


that has electrons in it, is
called the valence band.

Electrons in
quantised
energy bands.
Some bands
overlap each
other.

Nucleus

Electrons can jump up and down through the


different bands as they gain or lose energy. To jump
up over a forbidden zone they must have enough
energy to achieve the quantum energy level required
to occupy the next band.
In any atom in its rest state, the highest band
occupied by electrons is the Valence Band. If an
electron has enough energy to get to the unoccupied
levels above there, the electron is effectively free to
wander off. If an electric field is applied, the
electron becomes part of a flowing current, and the
substance is conducting electricity.
Thats why any energy band above the valence band
is called a Conduction Band.
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Conductors, Insulators & Semiconductors

In terms of Band Theory, the difference in


conductivity between different substances is simply
the relationship between the Valence Band and the
Conduction Band.
In Conductors
these bands
overlap each
other.

In Insulators these
bands are separated
by a wide forbidden
energy gap.

Conduction
Band

Conduction
Band

These bands
overlap

Forbidden
Energy gap

Valence
Band

Valence
Band

In Semiconductors
there is only a
narrow gap
between bands.
Conduction
Band

Valence
Band

In metals, electrons can move into the conduction band at


any time, so the solid array of atoms is a good conductor
at all times.
In an insulator, such as plastic, the electrons can never
achieve the conduction band unless they are given a
huge boost of energy. At normal temperatures and
voltage levels, the substance will not carry a current.

A semiconductor, like Silicon, will not normally carry


current, because electrons lack the energy to jump the
forbidden energy gap. However, if the temperature is
increased, and a voltage applied, there comes a point
when electrons jump the gap in great numbers, and the
substance suddenly conducts very well indeed.
This effect does not occur at room temperature unless
the semiconductor substance is Doped.

Doping a Semiconductor
Doping means to add a very small quantity of a
different type of atom to an otherwise pure solid
lattice of semiconductor atoms.
Atoms of Semiconductor substance
e.g. Silicon, normally have 4 valence electrons
Each
chemical
bond is
formed by
atoms
sharing 2
electrons.
These
electrons
are in the
valence
energy
band.

extra
valence
electron

Atom
with 5
valence
electrons
used to
Dope
the
lattice.

DOPING increases the conductivity of the lattice.


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Slide 25

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Conduction of Electrons & Holes

Normally we imagine that an electric current is composed


of a flow of negative electrons. However, in a
semiconductor, when an electron jumps out of the valence
band and flows off somewhere, it leaves behind a hole
in the valence band. This hole, is a space that an electron
from elsewhere can jump into.
Imagine a line of atoms in a semiconductor lattice:
Electron has enough energy to conduct away,
leaving a hole behind.
hole

Now imagine a sequence of movements in which the next


electron in the valence band has enough energy to jump
into the hole, leaving its own hole behind...
1.
2.

If you can imagine this sequence like the


pictures making a motion cartoon, you can
imagine that an electron flows to the right
and the hole flows to the left.
In fact, in terms of electrical energy, it makes no
difference whether the current really is negative
electrons going one way, or holes going the other
way... either way, it constitutes an electric current.
The holes are considered as positively charged
spaces (relative to the electrons) and so the flow of
positive holes may be thought of as genuine
Conventional Current.
So, there is another way to Dope a semiconductor.
The diagram in the previous slide shows the use of
atoms with an extra valence electron. The other way
to do it is to use atoms with only 3 valence electrons,
creating extra holes in the lattice.

Electrons are jumping to the right


extra hole
in the
lattice

3.

4.
...and the hole is jumping left.

Atom
with only
3 valence
electrons
used to
Dope
the
lattice.

5.
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Slide 26

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p-Type & n-Type Semiconductors

The two different ways to dope the lattice result in two different types of semiconductor material:

p-Type Semiconductors are doped


with atoms with 3 valence electrons, such as
aluminium or gallium. This adds extra holes to the
lattice. Electrical current is carried mainly by this
flow of positive holes (hence p-type).

n-Type Semiconductors

are doped
with atoms with 5 valence electrons, such as arsenic
or antimony. This adds extra valence electrons to the
lattice. Electrical current is carried mainly by this flow
of negative charges (hence n-type).

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A Little History:
Electronics & Computers

Thermionic refers to the way these CRTs would emit


many electrons from the cathode (and thereby carry a
current) when the cathode became hot. Once warmed up the
valve can act as an electronic switch in a circuit, when the
voltage to the anode is varied.

Characteristics

The concept of a machine to carry out high speed


calculations and logical operations has been around
for centuries. Prior to the 20th century, any such
device had to be mechanical, using clockwork gears
and so on. There were some notable successes with
control devices for weaving looms, and mechanical
adding machines, but applications were very limited.

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Slide 27

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Relatively large & expensive.


Consume relatively large amounts
of electricity
Produce large amounts of
waste heat.
10-2
20 cm

During World War II the first electronic computers were


built (in tight secrecy) to help decode enemy radio
messages. Instead of gears and dials, the Collosus
computer used thermionic valves to electronically
switch circuits on and off, to store and manipulate
data. These valves are described at the right.

Thermionic Valves: Cathode Ray Tubes

Although faster than mechanical


switches, valves are slow-acting by
modern standards.
Require time to warm up.
Have a limited lifetime, and can
burn out like a light bulb.
Therefore their reliability is low, and
maintenance needs are high.

Despite these limitations, Collosus was very


important in helping to win the war.

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A Little History Continued...


Invention of the Transistor

Thermionic valves had been widely used in radios for


some years and were vital components of the new
industry of television.
Valves were also important in the switching of
connections in telephone exchanges, where the
growing communication demands required automatic
dialing and connection technology. (The original
system involved human operators manually
plugging wires into sockets to connect phone calls.)
However, the valve-based technology was proving
too slow, too unreliable and too expensive for the
booming telephone industry. The major U.S. phone
company Bell Telephone set its scientists the task
of researching new materials and processes to
replace the valves.
In 1947, 3 scientists at Bell Laboratories, invented the
transistor, using a sandwich of p-type and n-type
doped semiconductor material.
Transistors

But a transistor:
is only a fraction of the size.
costs much less to make.
consumes only tiny amounts of electricical power.
produces virtually no waste heat.
operates much faster than a valve.
does not need to warm-up.
is highly reliable, and rarely needs maintenance.
The comparison is a no-brainer...
The transistor replaced Thermionic Valves
as rapidly as electronics industries could redesign their products, and begin
mass production

2 cm
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Because of the properties of the


semiconductor (conductivity that can be
switched on and off) transistors can do the
same job as thermionic valves.

Slide 28

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A Little More History... Silicon v Germanium

To make semiconductor material with the desired


conductivity properties, it is necessary to firstly prepare
extremely pure samples, then add tiny amounts of the
doping chemical, and finally grow crystals of the
semiconductor from the molten material in a furnace.
The original transistors were made from Germanium
because the technology to produce crystals of the pure
element was already known. However, Germanium is a rare
element, whereas its close sister element Silicon, is one
of the most abundant elements on Earth.

The miniature
integrated circuit
board led to
the technology
of the silicon
chip where thousands,
and now millions of
transistor-equivalents can be printed
microscopically in the space of a postage
stamp... a microchip.
In the 1980s the
first cheap PCs
(personal
computers) could
process a
magnificent 2x103
bytes of
information.

By the 1960s, the technology to obtain pure crystals of


Silicon had been developed, and because Silicon is so
abundant and therefore cheaper, it quickly replaced
Germanium. Silicons electrical properties turned out to be
better too. For example, it held its semiconductive
properties constant over a wider range of temperatures.
Also in the 1960s, the technology of the computer began to
emerge for financial and communication uses. The solidstate transistor technology allowed a computer to be built
to fit a table-top, rather than fill a room. Every teenager had
a brick-size transistor radio, in the same way that in this
decade everyone has a mobile phone the size of a
matchbox.
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Slide 29

Computer motherboard

Twenty years later, these notes are being


composed with an even cheaper PC which can
process 2x109 bytes, (2GB). The computers
have become a million times more powerful!
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Activity 4

The following activity might be completed by class discussion,


or your teacher may have paper copies for you to do.

Semiconductors

Student Name .................................

1. In terms of Band Theory, how are conductors, insulators and


semiconductors different to each other?
2.
a) Differentiate between a current carried by electrons and one carried by holes.
b) Differentiate between an n-type and p-type semiconductor.
3.
a) What is doping in the making of a semiconductor?
b) What type of atoms (and give specific example) are used to dope a silicon
crystal to make an n-type semiconductor?
c) What type of atoms (and give specific example) are used to dope a silicon
crystal to make a p-type semiconductor?
4. Name the type of CRT used in the first electronic computers and name the
first semiconductor devices which replaced them.
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Slide 30

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Assessment of Impacts of the Transistor on Society

It could be argued that the invention of the


transistor was one of the most profound
technological developments in history. It
ranks right up there beside the developments
such as:

Fire: 500,000 years ago.


Fire transformed human society because of
its power to warm people, cook food and
protect from predators.

Agriculture: 10,000 years ago.


This transformed society from nomadic
hunting-gathering to settled communities
that invented law, commerce, government
and civilization.

Metallurgy &
the Industrial Revolution,
which led to new tools, machinery, mass
production, urbanisation, and mass transport
systems.
Like it or hate it, (some people think we
should have stayed in the trees) the
modern world could not exist without the
invention of the transistor!
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The transistor helped create the

Information &
Communication Revolution,
which is still developing today. Electronic circuits, using
microchips, are the basis of all the computers which allow:
instant access to (virtually) all the information on the planet
via the internet.
instant access to money from your bank account from
(virtually) anywhere in the world.
instant communication via your mobile phone to and from
(virtually) anywhere.
Computers are the key to the global economy and mass
consumerism which keeps thing cheap through mass
production & distribution.
Computers keep track
of the billions of
business transactions
that feed us, clothe us,
entertain us, transport
us and service all our
needs.
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4. FROM CRYSTALS TO SUPERCONDUCTORS

Investigating Crystal Structures...


Bragg and Son
The regular shapes of crystals (such as salt) had long
been assumed to be due to a regular arrangement of the
atoms or ions in a lattice-like structure. However, until the
early 20th century, there was no way to prove or confirm
this idea.
The discovery of high frequency EMR in the form of Xrays opened up a new line of investigation. Sir William
Bragg and his son Lawrence, beamed X-rays through
crystals and studied the diffraction patterns which were
formed as the crystal lattice scattered the X-rays.
Photographic film
sensitive to x-rrays

x-rray
beam

Crystal

X-rrays diffracted by the crystal


lattice & form Interference
patterns which are captured
on the film.
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Slide 32

The Braggs were able to analyse the interference


pattern in order to deduce the arrangement of the
atoms within the crystal. For this, they were jointly
awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1915.
This opened up a whole new investigative technique,
allowing scientists to probe the structure of matter as
never before. It was X-ray diffraction crystallography,
for example, that allowed the structure of DNA to be
determined in the 1950s.

Crystal Structures
Thanks to scientists like the Braggs, we now
understand the atomic-level structure of most
substances. You learned previously how a substance
like the semiconductor Silicon is a lattice of atoms
chemically bonded together:
Each
chemical
bond is
formed by
atoms
sharing 2
electrons
with each
neighbour
atom.
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Crystal Structure of Metals

Unlike silicon, salt and other crystals, metal atoms are not
chemically bonded to each other by the sharing or exchanging of
electrons.
You will remember that the outer valence electrons in metals are
weakly held, and can access the conduction band at any time.
The result is that the valence electrons on each atom are NOT
confined to that atom, but freely wander around from atom to atom.
Each metal atom is, therefore, ionised because its valence
electron(s) are on the loose. The metal lattice is often described as

an array of ions, embedded in a sea of electrons.


This sea of electrons
shifts and flows freely.

Any impurities in the metal distort the


shape of the lattice and impede the
electron flow. Also, as the ions vibrate
due to thermal energy, the vibration
causes more collisions among
electrons, so their flow is resisted. As
temperature increases, the vibrations
increase too, and thats why resistance
in metals increases with temperature.
Logically, if you re-read the previous
paragraph and think backwards, you
might infer that if you had a really pure
metal, and cooled it right down so that
all lattice vibrations stopped, then it
would become a perfect conductor.

If an electric field is
present, the electrons
will all flow in the same
direction as an electric
current. Thats why
metals are all good
conductors.
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Resistance in Metals
So why is there resistance in a metal
wire? Although the electrons can flow
quite easily, their movement is not
totally free.

Superconductivity!
Slide 33

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Superconductivity in Metals and Ceramics

In 1911, a Dutch physicist managed to cool mercury down to


about 4oK (-269oC) and found that its electrical resistance
dropped to zero.
Over the following years, various other metals were found to
become superconducting at very low temperatures. The potential
to build electrical generators and equipment with zero resistance
was a very attractive idea, but the temperatures involved (no
higher than about 20oK) were so low that there seemed no
practical way to take advantage.
Then in 1986, Swiss scientists discovered some ceramic
materials containing rare elements like Yttrium and Lanthanum,
which became superconductors at much higher temperatures.
Still cold by human standards, but 100o higher than the metal
superconductors, these ceramics had zero resistance at
temperatures as high as 130oK (around -150oC). This is a
temperature that is much more practical to achieve.
The syllabus requires that you identify
superconducting metals and compounds.
Here is a very short list...

Superconductor

some

of

Temperature
of Transition (oK)

Metals
to Superconductivity
Mercury
4
Lead
9
Alloy
Niobium-Germanium
23
Ceramics
Yttrium-Barium-Copper oxide
92
Thallium-Barium-Calcium-Copper oxide
125 (-148oC)
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Slide 34

The Meissner Effect


You may have seen a practical
demonstration of a superconductor in
action, in class. The Meissner Effect is
named after the scientist who discovered it.
If a disk of superconductor ceramic is
chilled below its transition temperature,
a small magnet placed close above it will
levitate; spinning freely if prodded, but
held up against gravity by unseen forces.
Disk of
Superconducting
Ceramic

Small
Levitating
magnet

Liquid
Nitrogen

dish

the

Explanation
As the magnet is brought near, its
magnetic field induces currents in the
ceramic. Since there is NO electrical
resistance, the currents flow freely, nonstop and generate a magnetic field that
repels the approaching magnet.
Superconductors will never allow an
external magnetic field to penetrate.
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How Superconductivity Occurs... BCS Theory

How do we explain
superconductivity?

the

phenomenon

of

The accepted explanation is known as BCS Theory,


where BCS are the initials of the 3 scientists who
developed the theory in the 1950s.
Imagine part of the solid lattice of positive ions in a
conducting metal or ceramic. As an electron (part of an
electric current) approaches, it attracts the positive
ions and distorts the crystal structure slightly:

Approaching
electron

Cooper-P
Pair
of electrons forms

Electrons in a
Cooper-Pair
are linked to
each other by
Quantum
Effects.

Due to quantum effects (which are beyond the scope


of this Course... KISS Principle) each electron of the
Cooper Pair helps the other to pass through the lattice
without any loss of energy. This means there is ZERO
resistance.

This distortion concentrates the positive charge in this


part of the lattice, and attracts other electrons.
In a normal conductor, this distortion leads to
collisions and loss of energy by the flowing electrons
which repel each other... this is the normal electrical
resistance within the conductor.
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But in a superconductor below its transition


temperature, something very strange occurs; due to
Quantum Energy Effects, 2 nearby electrons pair up
to form what is called a Cooper Pair:
(Cooper is the C in BCS Theory)

Slide 35

However, at a temperature above the transition, the


thermal vibrations in the lattice keep breaking up the
Cooper Pairs as fast as they can form. This destroys
the superconductivity, and the normal electrical
resistance of the substance returns.
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Using Superconductor Technology

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Possible Future Applications


Advantages
Superconductor technology offers
High efficiency in any electrical situation, because
there is no energy loss due to resistance.
The ability to generate extremely strong magnetic
fields from superconducting electromagnets.
Faster operation of computers, since superconducting
switching devices could be
10 times faster than a semiconductor transistor.

Limitations
Superconducting metals must be chilled with liquid
helium. This is impractical and expensive.
New, superconducting ceramics can be chilled with
liquid nitrogen, which is cheaper and much more
practical, BUT these ceramics:
are fragile, brittle and difficult to make into wires.
can be chemically unstable and have a
limited life span.
KCiC Physics 7 Ideas to Implementation
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Slide 36

Current computer technology is based on


semiconductor microchips. Although these become
faster and more powerful every year, there is a limit
to how far they can go. A superconductor computer
could open a whole new level of enhanced
performance due the possible high speed switching
of circuits.
Electricity generation & distribution
could be made much more efficient with
superconductor technology.
A lot of energy is lost due to resistance heating in
transmission lines. This could be eliminated if
power lines were superconductors.
Generators lose energy by resistance heating in the
coils needed to produce magnetic fields, and are
limited in the strength of the fields they can
produce. Superconducting coils would allow
generators to be much more powerful and efficient.
Greater efficiency generally in electrical technology
would reduce associated environmental problems,
such as Greenhouse gas emissions.
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Using Superconductor Technology cont.

The Maglev Train

MAGLEV = MAGnetic LEVitation

The idea of using superconducting electromagnets to


levitate a train above a magnetic guide-rail has
been around for many years and experiments have
been going on for decades.
The guiderail(s) under the train contain conventional
electromagnets. On board, helium-chilled superconducting electromagnets produce powerful
magnetic fields.
The fields in the rail and the train repel each other so
that the entire train is levitated 1-2cm above the track.
Propulsion and braking is also done magnetically, by the
fields in front and behind the train attracting and repelling
it. The actual motive power is supplied from the rail, not
from onboard the train.
The big advantage is the high speed possible without
any rail friction, and the low maintenance and low
noise that goes with this. A disadvantage is the very
high cost of building the guide rail track.

Shanghai
Maglev
Train
Experiments have been going on for years in
Germany and in Japan. The first truly operational
Maglev now connects the city of Shanghai in China,
with its airport 30km away. German built, it cost
US$1.2 billion, and reaches speeds around 400km/hr.

Scientific Research Uses Superconductors


Although the practical, everyday uses of
superconductors are very limited so far, Science has
been using superconductors for decades.
The major use is to generate hugely powerful
magnetic fields to accelerate particles for research.
KCiC Physics 7 Ideas to Implementation
copyright 2009 keep it simple science
www.keepitsimplescience.com.au

Slide 37

Using superconducting electromagnets,


chilled with liquid helium to near -270oC,
powerful magnetic fields can be generated. These are
used to accelerate particles to close to the speed of
light, then collide them together to study the structure
of matter. This research is aimed at understanding not
only matter itself, but the origins of the Universe.
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Activity 5

The following activity might be completed by class discussion,


or your teacher may have paper copies for you to do.

Superconductivity

Student Name .................................


1. What technique was used by the father and son team of Braggs to study the
structure of crystals?
2. Explain why metals are generally excellent conductors of electricity.
3.
a) Why is there some electrical resistance in a metal at normal temperatures?
b) Why does resistance increase with temperature?
4. What is the Meissner Effect and why does it occur?
5. What does BCS Theory attempt to explain. Outline the main principle.
6. What is Maglev short for?
7. What are some limitations of the high-temp. superconducting ceramics?

KCiC Physics 7 Ideas to Implementation


copyright 2009 keep it simple science
www.keepitsimplescience.com.au

Slide 38

Usage & copying is permitted according to the


Site Licence Conditions only