Detail Page

published by the Physics Education Technology Project
This webpage contains an interactive simulation that allows users to explore and visualize the photoelectric effect experiment. Users can examine different metals, as well as control voltages accelerating the electrons, the intensity of the electron and light beams, and the wavelength of the light. Output options include graphing current vs. voltage, current vs. light intensity, and electron energy vs. light frequency.

This page also contains sample learning goals, a teacher's guide and user-submitted ideas and activities for the simulation.

This simulation is part of a large and growing collection. It has been designed using principles from physics education research and refined based on student interviews.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Modern Physics
- Condensed Matter
Quantum Physics
- Foundations and Measurements
- General
- Lower Undergraduate
- High School
- Upper Undergraduate
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Interactive Simulation
Intended Users Formats Ratings
- Learners
- application/java
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Access Rights:
Free access
© 2005 PHET and University of Colorado
Additional information is available.
cathod emission, photoelectric effect, work function
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created September 9, 2006 by Gifford Weber
Record Updated:
August 18, 2016 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
August 11, 2006
Other Collections:

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Record Link
AIP Format
(Physics Education Technology Project, Boulder, 2005), WWW Document, (
PhET Simulation: Photoelectric Effect, (Physics Education Technology Project, Boulder, 2005), <>.
APA Format
PhET Simulation: Photoelectric Effect. (2006, August 11). Retrieved May 22, 2018, from Physics Education Technology Project:
Chicago Format
Physics Education Technology Project. PhET Simulation: Photoelectric Effect. Boulder: Physics Education Technology Project, August 11, 2006. (accessed 22 May 2018).
MLA Format
PhET Simulation: Photoelectric Effect. Boulder: Physics Education Technology Project, 2005. 11 Aug. 2006. 22 May 2018 <>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Title = {PhET Simulation: Photoelectric Effect}, Publisher = {Physics Education Technology Project}, Volume = {2018}, Number = {22 May 2018}, Month = {August 11, 2006}, Year = {2005} }
Refer Export Format

%T PhET Simulation: Photoelectric Effect
%D August 11, 2006
%I Physics Education Technology Project
%C Boulder
%O application/java

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%D August 11, 2006
%T PhET Simulation: Photoelectric Effect
%I Physics Education Technology Project
%V 2018
%N 22 May 2018
%8 August 11, 2006
%9 application/java

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The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The APA Style presented is based on information from APA Electronic References.

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PhET Simulation: Photoelectric Effect:

Supplements Illinois PER Interactive Examples: Photoelectric Effect I

This interactive problem involves two light sources of differing wavelengths and kinetic energy beamed at a metal object.  It provides a Socratic-style "help" sequence that guides students through each phase of the problem solving, from conceptual analysis through the mathematics.

relation by Caroline Hall

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