This webpage contains an interactive simulation that allows students to explore and visualize the photoelectric effect experiment. Students can select from a menu of 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.
Common Core State Reading Standards for Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects 6—12
Key Ideas and Details (6-12)
RST.11-12.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to important distinctions the author makes and to any gaps or inconsistencies in the account.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas (6-12)
RST.11-12.9 Synthesize information from a range of sources (e.g., texts, experiments, simulations) into a coherent understanding of a process, phenomenon, or concept, resolving conflicting information when possible.
Common Core State Writing Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects 6—12
Text Types and Purposes (6-12)
1. Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content. (WHST.11-12.1)
%0 Electronic Source %D August 11, 2006 %T PhET Simulation: Photoelectric Effect %I PhET %V 2023 %N 4 December 2023 %8 August 11, 2006 %9 application/java %U https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/photoelectric
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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.