Some students think the photoelectric effect results from the ionization of atoms through the interaction with light

Quantum and Nuclear


Resources to Address This

  • These videos cover a wide range of approaches to teaching area of quantum and nuclear physics.

    The “Photoelectric effect” video demonstrates the effect using an electroscope and then discusses the effect in detail using Lego to give an interesting visual approach. This can be used to explain the effect before moving on to the equation.

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  • Use this lesson outline to help plan and carry out a practical demonstration of the photoelectric effect. The outcome of the experiment are discussed along with an analogy leading to the idea of electrons requiring sufficient energy to escape a potential well and the corresponding equation.

    A worksheet providing questions about the photoelectric effect is also linked.

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  • Taslidere, E., () Development and use of a three-tier diagnostic test to assess high school students’ misconceptions about the photoelectric effect, Research in Science & Technological Education, 34 (2) 164–186.

    DOI: 10.1080/02635143.2015.1124409

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