Photoelectric Effect


The photoelectric effect illustrates the particle natPhotoElectricCaptionure of light and gives an estimate of Planck’s Constant.



Principles Illustrated

diagramCaptionWave-particle duality. The details of the behaviour of the kinetic energy of the electrons ejected from a metal plate by light are not consistent with a wave model of light.

NCEA & Science Curriculum

Phys 3.5


This is an experimental activity that requires about an hour to complete. Contact us for various approaches to using the apparatus.


The bulb on this apparatus can get quite hot. Be careful to avoid burning fingers.

Individual teachers are responsible for safety in their own classes. Even familiar demonstrations should be practised and safety-checked by individual teachers before they are used in a classroom.

Related Resources

Solar Cells

Teaching Resources

Would you like to contribute lesson suggestions? Contact us.


This teaching resource was developed with support from

The MacDiarmid Institute
Faculty of Science, Victoria University of Wellington
School of Chemical and Physical Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington


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