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The Photoelectric Effect—Light Energy Demonstration Kit

By: The Flinn Staff

Item #: AP6627 

Price: $55.36

In Stock.

The Photoelectric Effect Light Energy Demonstration Kit displays the photoelectric effect using a zinc plate attached to a charged electroscope. Easily bring the excitement of the quantum age into your classroom.

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Product Details

The discovery of the photoelectric effect opened the door to understanding electron structure. Explaining how it proves the “quantum” energy of light has never been easy—until now! Demonstrate the photoelectric effect using a zinc plate attached to a charged electroscope. Simply charge the electroscope negatively using a rubber rod, and then shine short-wavelength UV light from the Sun or a lamp onto the zinc surface. Electrons given off by the zinc metal cause the electroscope “leaves” to collapse as the negative charge on the electroscope is neutralized by the resulting positive charge on the zinc. If the light is below the minimum threshold energy, the electroscope will not discharge regardless of how bright the light source. An economical way to bring the excitement of the quantum age into your classroom! Teacher Demonstration Notes included.

Concepts: Photoelectric effect, energy and wavelength of light, quantization of energy.
Time Required: 20 minutes
Note: The demonstration may be performed outdoors using ultraviolet light from the Sun. Performing the demonstration indoors requires a short-wavelength UV lamp, which is available separately.


Materials Included in Kit: 
Copper sheet, 3" x 3"
Zinc foil, 3" x 3"
Flask form electroscope
Friction pad, wool, 5" x 5"
Rubber rod, 12"
Sandpaper strip, 3" x 6"

Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Science & Engineering Practices

Analyzing and interpreting data
Constructing explanations and designing solutions
Developing and using models

Disciplinary Core Ideas

HS-PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter

Crosscutting Concepts

Cause and effect
Systems and system models
Stability and change

Performance Expectations

MS-PS1-1: Develop models to describe the atomic composition of simple molecules and extended structures.
MS-PS1-2: Analyze and interpret data on the properties of substances before and after the substances interact to determine if a chemical reaction has occurred.
HS-PS1-1: Use the periodic table as a model to predict the relative properties of elements based on the patterns of electrons in the outermost energy level of atoms.
HS-PS1-2: Construct and revise an explanation for the outcome of a simple chemical reaction based on the outermost electron states of atoms, trends in the periodic table, and knowledge of the patterns of chemical properties.
HS-PS1-6: Refine the design of a chemical system by specifying a change in conditions that would produce increased amounts of products at equilibrium.
HS-PS1-7: Use mathematical representations to support the claim that atoms, and therefore mass, are conserved during a chemical reaction.