work function

Physics. the least energy necessary to free an electron from a metal surface.
Thermodynamics, Helmholtz function. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
work function
1.  physics φ, Φ the minimum energy required to transfer an electron from a point within a solid to a point just outside its surface
2.  thermodynamics another name (not now used because of confusion with sense 1) for Helmholtz function

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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