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The de Broglie wavelength

# The de Broglie wavelength - wave associated with the...

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The de Broglie wavelength In 1923, Louis de Broglie predicted that since light exhibited both wave and particle behavior, particles should also. He proposed that all particles have a wavelength given by: Note that this is the same equation that applies to photons. de Broglie's prediction was shown to be true when beams of electrons and neutrons were directed at crystals and diffraction patterns were seen. This is evidence of the wave properties of these particles. Everything has a wavelength, but the wave properties of matter are only observable for very small objects. If you work out the wavelength of a moving baseball, for instance, you will find that the wavelength is far too small to be observable. What is a particle wave? The probability of finding a particle at a particular location, then, is related to the
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Unformatted text preview: wave associated with the particle. The larger the amplitude of the wave at a particular point, the larger the probability that the electron will be found there. Similarly, the smaller the amplitude the smaller the probability. In fact, the probability is proportional to the square of the amplitude of the wave. Quantum mechanics All these ideas, that for very small particles both particle and wave properties are important, and that particle energies are quantized, only taking on discrete values, are the cornerstones of quantum mechanics. In quantum mechanics we often talk about the wave function of a particle; the wave function is the wave discussed above, with the probability of finding the particle in a particular location being proportional to the square of the amplitude of the wave function....
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