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Physics Honors/AP 1 and 2

LAB: Photoelectric effect

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Physics Lab

The Photoelectric Effect

Goal: Observe photoelectric effect



  1. Watch the video and make sure you understand how the experiment works.
  2. If you created an electroscope earlier as part of one of your labs, see if you can duplicate the effects of shining UV light on a zinc plate sitting on your electroscope.
  3. Repeat the experiment with the copper plate.
  4. If possible, measure the separation of your electroplate leaves.

Data Handling

  1. Compare your results for low frequency light (ruby laser) and high frequnecy light (UV light source).
  2. Compare your results for copper and zinc plates.
  3. Consider how your data supports (or does not support) the explanation of the photoelectric effect.


  1. Write an informal report on your lab results (you do not need to perform error analysis, for example), but be sure to include all pertinent observations and your conclusions.

Post your report to the Lab thread at the Moodle.