You are on page 1of 2

Planck’s Constant Lab

December 12th, 2012 Purpose: To demonstrate the quantization of light and to measure Planck’s constant h!" #ackground: The energ$ lost b$ a single electron that passes through a light%emitting diode &'D! is con(erted into the energ$ of one photon" )n &'D can onl$ run in one direction, so *e *ant to find the minimum potential difference that *ill o(ercome the +potential barrier," -hen the current can flo* across the +barrier,, it means that the electrons *ere mo(e into a higher energ$ state" The$ then mo(e from this higher energ$ state back to a lo*er one, and the e.tra energ$ is e/ected as a photons"

-e kno* *hat the energ$ of a photon is hf!, so if *e can find the frequenc$ and stopping potential of multiple &'Ds, *e can relate the slope to Planck’s constant, h" The *a(elengths of the &'Ds are gi(en b$ the pro(iding compan$, and are as follo*s: +0uper #right 1ed, +4ltra )mber, +4ltra 8ello*, +0uper :reen, +#lue, ;aterials: 0et of 5 &'Ds 2< batter$ or equi(alent po*er suppl$! 1k= potentiometer 330k= resistor <oltmeter >onnecting leads Procedure: The circuit *ill be set up as the photo on the ne.t page portra$s, using the follo*ing steps: 1" ?rient the potentiometer so that the three terminals are pointing to*ards $ou" Turn the knob full$ clock*ise it is no* +off,!" >onnect the negati(e terminal of the batter$ to the left%hand terminal of the potentiometer, and the positi(e end of the batter$ to the right%hand terminal of the potentiometer" 223 nm 567 nm 569 nm 531 nm 917 nm

2" >onnect an$ one of the &'Ds to the 330k= resistor using a *ire" >onnect both of these components bet*een the central and left hand terminals of the potentiometer the longer *ire of the &'D must be attached to the right%hand terminal!" 3" >onnect the (oltmeter across the po*er suppl$ and turn up the potential difference until it reaches 2<" Then disconnect the (oltmeter but lea(e the po*er suppl$ turned on and do not change the potential difference" 9" 0lo*l$ increase the potential difference across the &'D b$ turning the potentiometer kno* counterclock*ise until the &'D just begins to glo*" :o back*ard and for*ard a couple of times to locate the point as accuratel$ as possible" 5" Place the leads of the (oltmeter across the &'D and record the potential difference from *here the &'D /ust began to glo*" 2" 1epeat steps 9 and 5 for all of the other &'Ds" )l*a$s return the potentiometer knob back to the +off, position before changing the &'D so that the initial (oltage is al*a$s 0<" There should a total of three trials for each &'D colour" @" 0ummarize $our results in tables similar to the follo*ing: 1ed &'D Potential Difference <! A >olour of &'D Brequenc$ .1019 Cz! )(erage Potential Difference <! 1ed 8ello* ?range :reen #lue Trial 1 Trial 2 Trial 3

)nal$sis: Plot a graph of potential difference (ersus frequenc$ and use the slope to calculate Planck’s constant b$ using the equation e<stop D hf" 1" -hat is the percentage error in $our calculated (alue for Planck’s constantE 2" 4sing $our data, if $ou *ere gi(en an &'D *ith a *a(elength of 965nm, *hat *ould $ou e.pect the stopping potential to beE 3" -eather reports monitor ultra(iolet 4<! light le(els" -h$ is 4< light a concernE