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People believed that if the light didn't have enough energy to eject electrons, the intensity of the light would need to increase because they believed that light could be explained by a wave-like model (higher intensity = bigger wave = more energy). However increasing the intensity just increased the number of photons, but no single photon had enough energy to remove the electron.
He thought that increasing the light intensity would increase the number of electrons being ejected. This wasn't the case because high light intensity only increased the number of photons, but did nothing to the kinetic energy of the photoelectrons. The energy of the photons stayed the same and probably weren't equal to or greater than the thresh hold energy needed to eject the electrons.
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