Objective: Determine the critical potentials of a helium atom
The expression “critical potential” is a general name for all the excitation and ionisation energies in the electron shells of an atom. The corresponding electronic states can be excited in various ways, for example by inelastic collisions with electrons. If the kinetic energy of the electron corresponds to a critical potential, the electron can lose all its kinetic energy in an inelastic collision. An experiment setup originally designed by Gustav Hertz is used here to determine critical potentials.
Additionally required: Basic equipment UE5020500-230.
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