How does frequency affect the photoelectric effect?

1 Answer
Jul 18, 2014

Thank you for the question about the frequency of light waves and the photoelectric effect.

In the photoelectric effect, electrons are ejected by a metal plate when hit by photons of electromagnetic radiation. It is proved that only certain photons have enough energy to eject these photons. In general, photons that have the frequency of visible green light and higher will eject these electrons.

Photons of visible red light, orange, and those of lower frequencies like infrared and radio waves, do have have sufficient energy to loosen the electrons in the metal plate.

Hope this help and I am going to try to add a great website that you can use to see photoelectric experiments and you can even manipulate the frequencies of the light waves. Please keep in mind that wavelength is also a property of light waves. The shorter the wavelength (the higher the frequency), the more the energy of the photon.

There are many experiments here (awesome site!!). Scroll down until you see Photoelectric Effect.

Good luck!!