Light Intensity and Characteristics of Photocells

Topics: Light, Electron, Electromagnetic radiation Pages: 2 (403 words) Published: January 27, 2008
Light Intensity Characteristics of Photocells

The photoelectric effect is defined as the emission of electrons from a material by visible light. The cadmium sulfide photocell is used to act as a conductor once exposed to light, allowing light to travel through. However it also acts as an electric resister (an opposition to a current flowing in a circuit) once not exposed to light. The photocell serves today's cause in a sufficient manner. It is used for a variety of reasons but it is mainly used as smoke detectors and other alarms. This proves that the photoelectric effect occurs in a CdS photocell.

Cadmium Sulfide is a metal that is formed along the earth's crust. Some characteristics of the sulfide are is that it has a low melting point, rapid electrical exchange, resists high temperatures, degrades plastics in UV rays, has different pigments, and has high electrical and thermal conductivity. Cadmium sulfide is contained within the photocell. It relates to the photoelectric effect in that it acts as a photo resistor to different types of light.

The photoelectric effect we know today is due to the significant contributions of many people. These people include Nikola Tesla, A. E. Becquerel, and Heinrich Hertz. Becquerel observed the photoelectric effect via an electrode in a conductive solution exposed to light. He was one of the first people to observe the photoelectric effect. Nikola Tesla worked on the photoelectric effect in 1901. He later filed a patent for the Apparatus for the Utilization of Radiant Energy. This basically was a Photoelectric alternating current stepping motor. Heinrich Hertz observed the photoelectric effect and the production and reception of electromagnetic waves. His receiver consisted of a coil with a spark gap, where a spark would be seen upon detection of EM waves. He used this device to study the photoelectric effect.

In today's society, photocells are widely used. They are within many electronic devices that utilize...
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