photoelectric effect


Definition of photoelectric effect

: the emission of free electrons from a metal surface when light strikes it

Examples of photoelectric effect in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Albert Einstein explains the photoelectric effect—shining light on certain materials can function to release electrons from the material—and suggests that light itself consists of individual quantum particles or photons. Gil Press, Forbes, 18 May 2021 Albert Einstein proposed a theory of the photoelectric effect in 1905, describing the phenomenon in which electrons can be ejected from atoms after they are hit by light. NBC News, 19 Oct. 2020 One of the most recognizable names appearing in the auction is that of Albert Einstein, who developed the theory of relativity and won the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics for his discovery of the photoelectric effect. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, 10 July 2020 Genius is an in-depth dramatic look at the life and career of the theoretical physicist who, among other things, explained the photoelectric effect that made the invention of television possible. Darryn King, HWD, 24 Apr. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'photoelectric effect.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of photoelectric effect

1892, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of photoelectric effect was in 1892

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Dictionary Entries Near photoelectric effect

photoelectric current

photoelectric effect

photoelectric emission

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Cite this Entry

“Photoelectric effect.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2021.

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