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Theory

Discussion in 'Photovoltaics' started by Alan Alpert, Dec 25, 2003.

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  1. Alan Alpert

    Alan Alpert Guest

    How much electricity can be obtained from one photon of light?
     
  2. Guest

    Photons come in different phlavors. What's nu?

    Nick
     
  3. Alan Alpert

    Alan Alpert Guest

    So much from Villanova!

     
  4. Guest

    ....nu = E/h :) George Ghio explains it all in his book.

    Nick
     
  5. Well, cosmic rays are photons, as is the microwave background, which
    one did you have in mind?
     
  6. George Ghio

    George Ghio Guest

    As usual Nick speaks from ignorance.
     
  7. daestrom

    daestrom Guest

    A photon's energy is related to its frequency/wavelength. Not all have
    enough energy to excite an electron out of orbit from an atom. If not, then
    the photon will interact with the matter by exciting the motion of the atom
    (warming the matter). But then, no electricity.

    Some photon's may have more energy than is needed. In this case, it *may*
    excite an electron enought to leave its atom and emit another, lower energy
    photon. *or*, it may not excite an electron, instead interact in one of
    many other ways.

    This is one of the reasons why PV cells don't convert all the sunlight that
    strikes them into electricity. Much of the sunlight is composed of photons
    that are the 'wrong' energy level to excite electrons.

    But if you have the right energy level, one photon could 'liberate' one
    electron. To get a couple of amperes of electricity, would require *many*
    photons.

    daestrom
     
  8. Alan Alpert

    Alan Alpert Guest

    Thanks, you guys have got me on the right track.
     
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