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Measuring Planck's Constant Using Light Emitting Diodes

Author(s): Mila Bileska*

This experiment aims to minimize the margin of error when calculating Planck’s constant (h) using accessible equipment. The study is based on the fact that electromagnetic radiation is quantized and obeys the Planck-Einstein relation. Throughout this experiment, the activation voltage (Vac) and wavelength (λ) of light emitting diodes was measured. To analyze the collected data, two methods were employed. The result from Method 1 was based on analytic calculations, whereas the result from Method 2 was generated through graphical computations. In Method 2, Planck’s constant was represented as a factor of the slope on the λ−1 and Vac linear graph. As hypothesized, Method 2 had a substantially lower margin of uncertainty and yielded a value that had an error of 3.7%. This result is significantly closer to the conventional h when compared to the 5.2% error that was observed in Method 1. However, with respect to the margin of uncertainty, the value of Planck’s constant is within the range of both results. Evidently, the representation of a physical constant as a factor of the slope on a linear graph proved to be a more accurate data analysis method than the analytical averaging of experimental values. This graphical analysis procedure can be employed in various complex physical experiments in order to increase the precision of the final results.

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