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Einstein Demonstrations-
Photo-Electric Effect

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This podcast is part of the series: Einstein Demonstrations


McWane Science Center


McWane Science Center


The message is the dual nature of light. When a gaseous element is raised to a high temperature, the atoms emit radiation having discreet wavelengths. The set of wavelengths for a given element is called its atomic spectrum. Einstein showed us that light can be described not only as a wave, like a water wave, but also as a particle. This understanding of light allowed us to understand why different elements have different fingerprint patterns of light known as spectra.

Length: 02:07

Content Areas: Science

Alabama Course of Study Alignments and/or Professional Development Standard Alignments:

SC (3)
3. Describe ways energy from the sun is used.
Examples: plant growth, light, heat
  • Identifying fossil fuels as a source of energy
    SC (4)
    1. Describe how electrical circuits can be used to produce light, heat, sound, and magnetic fields.
  • Identifying ways to use and conserve electrical energy
  • Identifying characteristics of parallel and series circuits
  • Classifying materials as conductors, nonconductors, and insulators of electricity and heat
  • Identifying relationships among charge, current, and potential energy
  • Identifying components of a circuit
    SC (4)
    3. Recognize how light interacts with transparent, translucent, and opaque materials.
    transparent—most light passes through,
    translucent—some light passes through,
    opaque—no light passes through
  • Predicting the reflection or absorption of light by various objects
    SC (8)
    11. Explain the law of conservation of energy and its relationship to energy transformation, including chemical to electrical, chemical to heat, electrical to light, electrical to mechanical, and electrical to sound.
    SC2015 (4)
    4. Design, construct, and test a device that changes energy from one form to another (e.g., electric circuits converting electrical energy into motion, light, or sound energy; a passive solar heater converting light energy into heat energy).*


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