The photoelectric effect is the emission of electrons when light shines on a material. This effect is used in everyday devices such as solar cells and photocells. Albert Einstein won the Nobel Prize for his work on explaining the photoelectric effect.
The Photoelectric Effect
Photoelectric Effect: A phenomenon in which electrons are emitted from a material when light is shone on it. Einstein's Theory of the Photoelectric Effect: Albert Einstein's theory that light is composed of particles, now referred to as photons, which carry energy. Threshold Frequency: The minimum frequency of light required to cause the photoelectric effect.
The photoelectric effect was first discovered in 1839, almost 100 years before Einstein's paper on the topic was published in 1905. The photoelectric effect has been used to measure the intensity of light, control electric currents, and even for detecting and measuring the presence of certain elements. The photoelectric effect is still used today in devices such as solar cells, light meters, and motion detectors.
Did you know?
What is the relationship between light and electrons?
What other applications of the photoelectric effect have you heard of?
Question: How can the photoelectric effect be used to generate electricity? Clues: • The photoelectric effect occurs when light is shone on a metal surface. • The light causes electrons on the metal surface to be released. • The electric potential of the metal surface can be used to create an electrical current. In pairs: Select and solve one of the tasks: A. Work in pairs to create a diagram of how the photoelectric effect can be used to generate electricity. B. Explain the process to your partner with a drawing.