Photoemission is a process during which electrons are ejected from a metal surface when exposed to electromagnetic radiation, (eg ultraviolet).
If a clean, positively charged zinc plate is exposed to intense white light it will not discharge.
If a clean, negatively charged zinc plate is exposed to intense white light it will not discharge.
Neither the intensity of light nor the charge of the plate matter - the plate will not discharge.
If a clean, positively charged zinc plate is exposed to an ultraviolet source it will not discharge.
However, if a clean, negatively charged zinc plate is exposed to an ultraviolet source it will discharge.
This shows that the plate will only discharge if:
The intensity of the source only affects how long it takes the plate to discharge.
The above points lead to the following conclusions:
This leads to the theory that the beams of light and ultraviolet are made up of individual units called photons.
Before an electron can be removed from a negatively charged plate each photon must have enough energy on its own to remove it.
What evidence is there from the above description that the emitted particles are electrons rather than photons?
Photoemission only occurs from negatively charged surfaces. The negative charge decreases when this happens. This indicating (negatively charged) electrons are leaving the surface.