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The "surprise" was that Planck proposed energy was transferred in discrete packets (photons) which discarded classical physics. In classical physics, there is no restriction on how small an amount of energy may be transferred from one object to another. However, quantum mechanics focuses on energy transfer of the aforementioned "packets."
During the experiment, if the incoming light does not have enough energy to match the work function of the corresponding metal, no electrons will be ejected. However, even when increasing the intensity of light, electrons in the experiment were still not being ejected.
The Photoelectric Effect showed that light acts as both a wave and a particle. Increasing the intensity of the light did not remove an electron but increasing the lights energy did. This showed that each individual photon needs enough energy to remove an electron and the sheer amount of photons will not cause an electron to be emitted.
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