A plasma forms when a gas at low pressure has atoms excited by electrical discharge, releasing light energy. See how to set up an experiment examining the ionization and excitation potentials of noble gases.
See how an apparatus using accelerator voltage, filament, and ion current meters tests the ionization potential of the gas, approximately 15 volts. The same apparatus uses a paper trace recorder to plot the ion current against the accelerator voltage.
A paper trace recorder plotting the ion current against the accelerator voltage determines the ionization potential of the gas, approximately 10 volts.
A paper trace recorder plotting the ion current against the accelerator voltage determines the ionization potential of the gas, approximately 21 volts.
See how to use an apparatus connected to an electron accelerator and paper trace recorder to measure helium ionization and excitation potentials.
Credits: Ionization and Excitation Potential
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The energy transfer between accelerated electrons of different energies and atoms when they collide is presented in this program and related to the quantum theory of atomic structure. First, the ionization potential of three inert gases is measured. When the energy of electrons accelerated through a potential V, eV, is great enough to cause an electron to be ejected from an atom, an ion current is measured in the experimental apparatus. Students can compare their measurement of the ionization potential for the three gases with the correct values (given in the accompanying guide). At lower energies, bombarding electrons can transfer their kinetic energy and temporarily excite atoms. When the electrons lose their energy, the current measured in the apparatus increases because the detector is more efficient at detecting slower electrons. Students measure three discrete excitation potentials for helium, demonstrating the quantum nature of the electron structure of atoms. (15 minutes)
Length: 16 minutes
Copyright date: ©1990
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