Lesson 36: de Broglie Wavelengths
In 1923
Prince Louis de Broglie
proposed a new idea…
●
Could things believed to be particles (like electrons and baseballs) sometimes
act like waves?
○
All the stuff discovered so far has shown that what appeared to be waves
(EMR) sometimes acted like a particle, so de Broglie just wanted to know if
particles could act like waves.
●
Nobody really took de Broglie seriously until Einstein read his paper and
agreed with his ideas.
de Broglie suggested combining a couple of formulas, one of them a particle type, the
other a wave type.
p
=
mv
p
=
h
mv
=
h
=
h
mv
λ = wavelength (m)
h = Planck's Constant (always 6.63e34)
m = mass (kg)
v = velocity (m/s)
This formula allows us to calculate the de Broglie Wavelength of a
moving particle.
●
For an object to have a wavelength, it must be moving.
●
Day to day objects that are around us have wavelengths so small
that we can never hope to measure them.
Example 1
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 Fall '08
 Staff
 Electron, Photon, Diffraction, Wavelength

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