Chemistry Practice Problems The Particle Nature of Light Practice Problems Solution: The optic nerve needs a minimum of 2.0 x 10−17 J o...

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Solution: The optic nerve needs a minimum of 2.0 x 10−17 J of energy to trigger a series of impulses that eventually reach the brain. How many photons of blue light (475 nm) are needed?

Problem

The optic nerve needs a minimum of 2.0 x 10−17 J of energy to trigger a series of impulses that eventually reach the brain. How many photons of blue light (475 nm) are needed?

Solution

We’re being asked how many photons of blue light with a wavelength of 475 nm are needed to trigger the optic nerve


Recall that the energy of a photon (E) is given by:


E=hv (1)


where:

h = Planck’s constant (6.626 × 10–34 J • s)

v = frequency (in s–1)


Also, recall that the frequency (v) and wavelength (λ) are related:


λ=cv (2)


where:

c = speed of light (3.0 × 108 m/s)


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