Lesson Plan: The Electron Volt Physics

This lesson plan includes the objectives, prerequisites, and exclusions of the lesson teaching students how to define the unit of an electron volt and how to convert between electron volts and other energy units.


Students will be able to

  • recall that an electron volt is the amount of energy required to move an electron across a potential difference of 1 V,
  • convert between electron volts and joules,
  • convert between eV and J where the units have SI prefixes (kilo, mega, giga, etc.).


Students should already be familiar with

  • the idea that energy can be measured in joules (J),
  • what electric potential and electric potential difference are,
  • what electrons are,
  • the charge of an electron in coulombs,
  • the idea that to move a charge across a potential difference, work must be done on it.


Students will not cover

  • electron volts as a unit of mass: eV/𝑐,
  • electron energy levels,
  • particle masses or pair production energies.

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