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β 1 = 26.254 ( 10.00 eV E 1 ) / eV 1 nm = 26.254 ( 10.00 7.00 ) 1 nm = 8.875 nm ,
T ( L , E 1 ) = 16 E 1 U 0 ( 1 E 1 U 0 ) e 2 β 1 L = 16 7 10 ( 1 7 10 ) e 17.75 L / nm = 3.36 e 17.75 L / nm .

For a higher-energy electron with E 2 = 9.00 eV :

β 2 = 26.254 ( 10.00 eV E 2 ) / eV 1 nm = 26.254 ( 10.00 9.00 ) 1 nm = 5.124 nm ,
T ( L , E 2 ) = 16 E 2 U 0 ( 1 E 2 U 0 ) e 2 β 2 L = 16 9 10 ( 1 9 10 ) e 5.12 L / nm = 1.44 e 5.12 L / nm .

For a broad barrier with L 1 = 5.00 nm :

T ( L 1 , E 1 ) = 3.36 e 17.75 L 1 / nm = 3.36 e 17.75 · 5.00 nm / nm = 3.36 e −88 = 3.36 ( 6.2 × 10 −39 ) = 2.1 % × 10 −36 ,
T ( L 1 , E 2 ) = 1.44 e 5.12 L 1 / nm = 1.44 e 5.12 · 5.00 nm / nm = 1.44 e 25.6 = 1.44 ( 7.62 × 10 −12 ) = 1.1 % × 10 −9 .

For a narrower barrier with L 2 = 1.00 nm :

T ( L 2 , E 1 ) = 3.36 e 17.75 L 2 / nm = 3.36 e 17.75 · 1.00 nm / nm = 3.36 e −17.75 = 3.36 ( 5.1 × 10 −7 ) = 1.7 % × 10 −4 ,
T ( L 2 , E 2 ) = 1.44 e 5.12 L 2 / nm = 1.44 e 5.12 · 1.00 nm / nm = 1.44 e 5.12 = 1.44 ( 5.98 × 10 −3 ) = 0.86 % .

Significance

We see from these estimates that the probability of tunneling is affected more by the width of the potential barrier than by the energy of an incident particle. In today’s technologies, we can manipulate individual atoms on metal surfaces to create potential barriers that are fractions of a nanometer, giving rise to measurable tunneling currents. One of many applications of this technology is the scanning tunneling microscope (STM), which we discuss later in this section.

Check Your Understanding A proton with kinetic energy 1.00 eV is incident on a square potential barrier with height 10.00 eV. If the proton is to have the same transmission probability as an electron of the same energy, what must the width of the barrier be relative to the barrier width encountered by an electron?

L proton / L electron = m e / m p = 2.3 %

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Radioactive decay

In 1928, Gamow identified quantum tunneling as the mechanism responsible for the radioactive decay of atomic nuclei. He observed that some isotopes of thorium, uranium, and bismuth disintegrate by emitting α -particles (which are doubly ionized helium atoms or, simply speaking, helium nuclei). In the process of emitting an α -particle, the original nucleus is transformed into a new nucleus that has two fewer neutrons and two fewer protons than the original nucleus. The α -particles emitted by one isotope have approximately the same kinetic energies. When we look at variations of these energies among isotopes of various elements, the lowest kinetic energy is about 4 MeV and the highest is about 9 MeV, so these energies are of the same order of magnitude. This is about where the similarities between various isotopes end.

When we inspect half-lives (a half-life is the time in which a radioactive sample loses half of its nuclei due to decay), different isotopes differ widely. For example, the half-life of polonium-214 is 160 µ s and the half-life of uranium is 4.5 billion years. Gamow explained this variation by considering a ‘spherical-box’ model of the nucleus, where α -particles can bounce back and forth between the walls as free particles. The confinement is provided by a strong nuclear potential at a spherical wall of the box. The thickness of this wall, however, is not infinite but finite, so in principle, a nuclear particle has a chance to escape this nuclear confinement. On the inside wall of the confining barrier is a high nuclear potential that keeps the α -particle in a small confinement. But when an α -particle gets out to the other side of this wall, it is subject to electrostatic Coulomb repulsion and moves away from the nucleus. This idea is illustrated in [link] . The width L of the potential barrier that separates an α -particle from the outside world depends on the particle’s kinetic energy E . This width is the distance between the point marked by the nuclear radius R and the point R 0 where an α -particle emerges on the other side of the barrier, L = R 0 R . At the distance R 0 , its kinetic energy must at least match the electrostatic energy of repulsion, E = ( 4 π ε 0 ) −1 Z e 2 / R 0 (where + Z e is the charge of the nucleus). In this way we can estimate the width of the nuclear barrier,

Questions & Answers

as a free falling object increases speed what is happening to the acceleration
Success Reply
of course g is constant
Alwielland
acceleration also inc
Usman
photo electrons doesn't emmit when electrons are free to move on surface of metal why?
Rafi Reply
What would be the minimum work function of a metal have to be for visible light(400-700)nm to ejected photoelectrons?
Mohammed Reply
give any fix value to wave length
Rafi
40 cm into change mm
Arhaan Reply
40cm=40.0×10^-2m =400.0×10^-3m =400mm. that cap(^) I have used above is to the power.
Prema
i.e. 10to the power -2 in the first line and 10 to the power -3 in the the second line.
Prema
there is mistake in my first msg correction is 40cm=40.0×10^-2m =400.0×10^-3m =400mm. sorry for the mistake friends.
Prema
40cm=40.0×10^-2m =400.0×10^-3m =400mm.
Prema
this msg is out of mistake. sorry friends​.
Prema
what is physics?
sisay Reply
why we have physics
Anil Reply
because is the study of mater and natural world
John
because physics is nature. it explains the laws of nature. some laws already discovered. some laws yet to be discovered.
Yoblaze
is this a physics forum
Physics Reply
explain l-s coupling
Depk Reply
how can we say dirac equation is also called a relativistic equation in one word
preeti Reply
what is the electronic configration of Al
usman Reply
what's the signeficance of dirac equetion.?
Sibghat Reply
what is the effect of heat on refractive index
Nepal Reply
As refractive index depend on other factors also but if we supply heat on any system or media its refractive index decrease. i.e. it is inversely proportional to the heat.
ganesh
you are correct
Priyojit
law of multiple
Wahid
if we heated the ice then the refractive index be change from natural water
Nepal
can someone explain normalization condition
Priyojit Reply
please tell
Swati
yes
Chemist
1 millimeter is How many metres
Darling Reply
1millimeter =0.001metre
Gitanjali
The photoelectric effect is the emission of electrons when light shines on a material. 
Chris Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, University physics volume 3. OpenStax CNX. Nov 04, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12067/1.4
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