What is photoelectric effect class 12 – Modern Physics – eSaral

Hey, do you want to know What is photoelectric effect in class 12? If yes. Then keep reading.

What is Photoelectric effect?

The phenomenon of emission of electrons from the surface of the metal when the light of suitable frequency falls on it is called the photoelectric effect.

  1. The ejected electrons are called photoelectrons
  2. The current produced due to emitted electrons is called photocurrent.
  3. The photoelectric effect proves the quantum nature of radiation.
  4. The classical electromagnetic theory fails to explain photoelectric effect.
  5. Einstein explained the photoelectric effect using quantum nature of radiation.
  6. Hallwach is credited with discovery of the photoelectric effect.

Experimental study of photoelectric effect

Effect of intensity of incident radiation

  1. The number of incident photons per second on a metal plate is called intensity of incident radiation. What is photoelectric effect class 12
  2. For a fixed incident frequency, the saturation photocurrent is directly proportional to the intensity of incident radiation What is photoelectric effect class 12 e.g. when intensity of radiation is doubled at constant frequency saturation photocurrent is also doubled.
  3. Saturation current: When all photo electrons produced reach anode the photocurrent becomes maximum and is independent of applied potential difference. This current is called saturation or maximum current.

Effect of potential

  1. When polarity of electrodes is reversed with commutator the current is reduced but does not become zero. This shows that emitted photoelectrons have kinetic energy.
  2. The negative potential of the anode at which the photo current becomes zero is called stopping potential $\left(\mathrm{V}_{\mathrm{s}}\right)$. At this potential the electrons with maximum kinetic energy are stopped from reaching the anode.
  3. No photo current is produced even on increasing the intensity of incident radiation when the anode is at stopping potential. Thus, stopping potential is independent of the intensity of incident radiation.
  4. The stopping potential is a measure of maximum kinetic energy of photo electrons. $E_{\max }$ $=\mathrm{eV}_{\mathrm{s}}$ Effect of potential Photoelectric effect

Effect of frequency of incident radiation

  1. Threshold frequency the minimum frequency of incident radiation that can eject photo electrons from a metal is known as threshold frequency $\left(v_{0}\right)$.
  2. At stopping potential if the frequency of incident radiation is increased then current starts flowing again. This can be made zero by increasing stopping potential.
  3. Thus, the maximum kinetic energy of photoelectron or stopping potential increases with an increase in the frequency of incident radiation. The maximum kinetic energy of photoelectron increases linearly with increase in the frequency of incident light.

Effect of material of cathode

The stopping potential, work function, and threshold frequency depend on the nature of material of cathode. Work function : The minimum energy required for emission of electrons from metal is called work function work function $\phi=\mathrm{hv}_{0}$ where $v_{0}$ is threshold frequency.  

so, that’s all from this article. I hope you get the idea about What is photoelectric effect in class 12. If you found this article informative then please share it with your friends. If you have any confusion related to this topic then feel free to ask in the comments section down below.


For a better understanding of this chapter, please check the detailed notes of the Dual Nature of Radiation and matter. To watch Free Learning Videos on physics by Saransh Gupta sir Install the eSaral App.


Leave a comment

Please enter comment.
Please enter your name.

  • March 3, 2022 at 8:11 pm

    Please. Provide project on it

    • May 19, 2022 at 2:37 pm


  • November 6, 2021 at 12:43 pm

    You explain the topic very well hats off to you thanks for ur help