Physics. the least energy necessary to free an electron from a metal surface.
Thermodynamics. Helmholtz function.
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British Dictionary definitions for work function
physics the minimum energy required to transfer an electron from a point within a solid to a point just outside its surface: Symbol: φ, Φ
thermodynamics another name (not now used because of confusion with sense 1) for Helmholtz function
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012