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Planck's Constant
^{SJK 02:33, 5 October 2009 (EDT)} 02:33, 5 October 2009 (EDT)
This is a good summary, and overall you did a very good job on this lab! The most notable thing for your next lab will be to include a statistically rigorous uncertainty on your final values (e.g., mean +/ standard error of the mean), and use this to compare with the accepted value. In addition, you will want to include more information in your data analysis sectionspecifically this time, information was missing that would have said how you calculated final uncertainties.
Please make sure to look at Alex's summary page for my comments, and both of your primary lab notebook pages for more of my comments.
In this lab we were to achieve a measured value for Planck's Constant
using an h/e apparatus combined with a mercury light source shining beams of different colored light through the filters as seen in my lab report. From our observations we were to confirm the independence of the energy stored in light
^{SJK 00:57, 5 October 2009 (EDT)} 00:57, 5 October 2009 (EDT)
Here and below in your conclusion, I would change the word "light" to "photon," to be clear that you're talking about light quanta.
from the light's intensity and the dependence of the light's energy on it's frequency.
The main overview and summary of the procedure and lab is provided by this link:
 Prof. Gold's Lab Manual
 The following link leads to my Planck's Constant Lab entry that includes the data, procedure, and observations that were made:
 Planck's Constant Lab Notebook Entry
Data Summary
^{SJK 02:17, 5 October 2009 (EDT)} 02:17, 5 October 2009 (EDT)
I am glad you did these derivations and definitely it was good to include them in your primarly lab notebook. However, as part of the informal summary, it actually makes it difficult to see what your final values are. It would be much clearer to do as
Alex did.
 Derivations & Calculations (from lab notebook): [1]
 The total maximum energy of the electrons leaving the cathode is:


 where is the initial energy of the photon and is the resulting energy containing the final kinetic energy of the electron plus the energy loss due to the electron overcoming the work function; : is the rest mass of the electron and is its final velocity.
 The negative potential, , needed to stop the flow of electrons is derived by equating the potential barrier, :, to the electron's kinetic energy where is the charge of an electron and:

 So



 From this equation we can see that there is a linear relation between the stopping potential and the frequency : with slope .
 Using the slope from our bestfit line and the electron's charge, , we can approximate the value of Planck's constant:


 where is the slope of our line. So,






 Also, using the yintercept from our graph we can find the work function, :



^{SJK 02:22, 5 October 2009 (EDT)} 02:22, 5 October 2009 (EDT)
As mentioned in your primary lab notebook, at first it was completely unclear where these uncertainties came from. Then, I think I realized where they came from (directly from your voltmeter uncertainty estimate). If so, this means you did not "propagate the uncertainty," correctly. Don't worry, though, we will go over this in lecture soon!








^{SJK 02:20, 5 October 2009 (EDT)} 02:20, 5 October 2009 (EDT)
These discrepancies from the accepted value are good to calculate...but in the future, you will want to compare the discrepancy with your range of uncertainty...and this will provide you with a statistical basis for whether or not your measurements are consistent with the accepted value. This will become more clear as we talk about it over the next couple weeks. Also, very importantly: where do you get your accepted value? You definitely should cite the source of the accepted value, as that is very important information for the reader!
 Percent error from accepted value






Conclusion
From our results we find that our values for our second order maxima may have been wrong. The error estimated for our measured Planck's constant was very large. I'm not particularly sure for why that is. From our table, our values for the stopping potential was significantly different for the green spectra between first and second order. We were not able to figure out why that is either.
^{SJK 02:25, 5 October 2009 (EDT)} 02:25, 5 October 2009 (EDT)
This is the famous 2nd order green mystery. Because I think it's a fun mystery, and because there's a chance you'd return to this lab for your final report, I'm not going to tell you the answer. But it definitely is a mystery that you could solve.
For our first order measurement of Planck's Constant we found that we managed to get quite close to the current accepted value. Although the transmission narrowed the intensity per part by 20 %, our measured stopping potential only varied by a small amount for each time measured. We found that the energy stored in light is independent of intensity but depends on the incident frequency. Also, due to our error estimation, I find that the measurement for the first order stopping potential should be more correct and hence see that it only takes about 1.5 eV for the electrons to leave the cathode inside the h/e apparatus. Overall this lab was informative and exciting in the sense that we were able to understand one way in which constantsPlanck's to be exactare determined. Of course it takes more trials to conclude the actual value, but we had some problems with our equipment (check our uncertainty notes in lab notebook).
[2]