The free-electron theory of metals proposed by Sommerfeld (1928) has provided the basis for practically all quantum-mechanical theories of electron emission from metals until relatively recently, and some important formulas derived on the basis of this theory are still extensively used in the analysis of relevant experimental data. It is, therefore, appropriate to begin our present study with a brief exposition of the free-electron theory of these phenomena. At the same time we shall point out the limitations of this theory which have become evident by the accumulation of experimental data which it cannot explain.


Applied Field Transmission Coefficient Electron Emission Thermionic Emission Periodic Deviation 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Modinos
    • 1
  1. 1.University of SalfordSalfordEngland

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