Calorimetric determination of the work function

Yaakov Kraftmakher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


A student experiment on the calorimetric determination of the work function is described. This approach clearly demonstrates the energy transfer by electrons leaving the cathode of a vacuum tube. The changes in the temperature due to the energy transfer are detectable by measurements of the resistance of the cathode or radiation from it. Oxide-coated cathodes are more suitable for such measurements than tungsten cathodes. The calorimetric determination of the work function may become a good addition to the traditional student experiments in the field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-227
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1998


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