What Is The Stopping Potential?

Are you curious to know what is the stopping potential? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about the stopping potential in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is the stopping potential?

In the realm of physics, particularly in the study of light and electricity, the concept of stopping potential holds a crucial place. It serves as a fundamental principle in elucidating the behavior of electrons, shedding light on their interaction with electromagnetic radiation. Understanding the stopping potential is pivotal in comprehending the photoelectric effect and the nature of matter and energy.

What Is The Stopping Potential?

The stopping potential refers to the minimum potential or voltage that needs to be applied to stop the emission of electrons in a photoelectric setup. When light of a certain frequency (or wavelength) is directed onto a material, electrons within that material may absorb the energy from the incident photons and get emitted from the surface, creating a flow of current.

However, if an opposing voltage is applied in the same direction as the emitted electrons, an equilibrium point is reached where the kinetic energy gained by the electrons from the incident photons is counteracted. At this point, the electrons cease to reach the collector plate, resulting in no electric current. The applied voltage at this equilibrium is the stopping potential.

Significance In The Photoelectric Effect

The discovery of the photoelectric effect by Albert Einstein in 1905 revolutionized the understanding of light and matter interaction. It demonstrated that light behaves not only as a wave but also as a stream of particles called photons. The photoelectric effect occurs when photons strike a material’s surface, transferring their energy to electrons, allowing them to escape from the material.

The relationship between the stopping potential and the frequency of incident light is a key aspect of the photoelectric effect. As per the equation formulated by Einstein:

Energy of incident photons=Work function+Kinetic energy of emitted electrons

Here, the work function represents the minimum energy required to liberate an electron from the material. The stopping potential is directly related to the work function; a higher work function demands a greater stopping potential to halt the emitted electrons.

Application And Implications

The concept of stopping potential finds applications in various scientific and technological domains. In photovoltaic cells, for instance, understanding the stopping potential assists in designing efficient solar panels. Engineers can optimize the materials used in these cells by considering their work functions and the corresponding stopping potentials required for effective electron emission.

Moreover, the precision and accuracy of devices like photomultiplier tubes, which detect and amplify low levels of light, heavily rely on the understanding and manipulation of stopping potentials.


In the intricate world of physics, the stopping potential stands as a foundational principle, elucidating the behavior of electrons under the influence of light and electric fields. Its significance spans across scientific research, technological advancements, and the broader understanding of the relationship between matter and energy.

As scientists continue to delve deeper into the mysteries of quantum mechanics and particle physics, the role and implications of stopping potential remain a cornerstone, paving the way for innovative discoveries and applications in the realm of light and electricity.


What Is Stopping Potential 12 Class?

Stopping potential is defined as the potential required to stop ejection of electron from a metal surface when incident beam of energy greater than the work potential of metal is directed on it.

What Is The Cut Off Potential Class 12?

The Stopping Potential or the Cut-off Potential is the potential difference at which the ejected photoelectrons stop moving across the plates or in other words, The Photoelectric Current between the plates falls to 0. Note: As Stopping Potential counters, the movement of photoelectrons possessing Kinetic Energy.

What Is The Formula Of Stopping Potential?

The problem is that the same symbol V0 is used in other text as the stopping potential and then the potential energy is eV0 in such cases. Common variations of the equation are eV0=hf−ϕcol where V0 is in volts and ϕcol is in joules and eV0=hf−eϕcol where V0 and ϕcol are both in volts.

What Is The Stopping Potential Of An Atom?

Stopping potential: The voltage difference that is required to stop electrons ejected due to the photoelectric effect from moving between plates and creating a current in the photoelectric experiment is called stopping potential.

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