This one had me puzzled for about 30 minutes. Among the three of us thinking about it, we generated three different explanations. I’m curious about many things:
- What you think we expected to happen and why we thought that
- How you are making sense of what actually happens in the simulation,
- And your thoughts about the two ways that students might have made sense of it
Setup: In the PhET simulation you can link to below, set intensity of the light to some low or mid-level. Next, adjust the wavelength such that a small amount of current is registering.
Question: What should happen to the current as you drive the wavelength smaller and smaller?
Explore: What actually happens? Is this similar or different from what you expected? If different, how are you making sense of what happens?
Further Questions (in white):
- In this experimental setup, why is there a wavelength that corresponds to a maximum current?
- What parameters is the maximum current setting dependent on? Why these parameters?
- What could you change about the experimental setup such that the current increases monotonically as wavelengths get smaller? (Does PhET simulation allow you to do this?)