Lab #4 The Photoelectric Effect

Photoelectric Effect
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Photoelectric Effect simulation from PhET

Conceptual goal: Understand how the photoelectric effect experiment leads to wave-particle duality. Understand that when a particle tunnels through a barrier, energy is conserved.

We have adapted and modified a PhET activity, to guide students in exploring the photoelectric effect experiment using a simulation. By changing the settings (intensity, wavelength of light, battery voltage) in the simulation, students are guided through the reasoning that lead to the proposal of the wave-particle duality for electromagnetic radiation.

The PhET activity, "Understanding the Photoelctric Effect," developed by Sam McKagan, Kathy Perkins, and Carl Wieman, can be found here. If you want to use the modified version of this activity in your own course, please contact mlpuerto at

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number DUE-1140034.
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.