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Activity

Virtual Photoelectric Lab part of comPADRE Pedagogic Library:Teaching with Data Simulations:Examples
In this activity, students measure the relationship between kinetic energy of photoelectrons and the frequency of the incident light. The kinetic energy is measured in the usual way by determining the stopping potential for each frequency. In this version, a Java applet that simulates the experimental set-up is used. The simulation shows the behavior of an electron when struck by a photon. The stopping potential is determined by observing the behavior of the electron in response to a counter voltage applied across the emitter and collector in the phototube. The stopping potential is the voltage that allows the electron to cross the gap and just touch the collector before falling back.