Lesson 14, Topic 1
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De Broglie’s Matter Wave

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In 2913, Lous Victor de Broglie postulated that because photons have wave and particle characteristics, then all forms of matter also have both particle and wave characteristics.

According to de Broglie’s hypothesis:

  1. All matter exhibits a dual particle-wave nature
  2. The wavelength of a particle is related to its momentum by:
\lambda_{\text{particle}}=\frac{h}{p}=\frac{h}{mv}

Experimental Evidence

De Broglie’s hypothesis, first regarded as pure speculation, began to see proof in experimental results.

Electrons appeared to exhibit diffraction and interference, a wave property, suggesting that they could behave as both particles and waves.

  • In 1927, Davission and Germer measured the wavelength of the electron. They achieved this by accident in an unrelated experiment. This was the first evidence for de Broglie’s hypothesis.
  • The same year, George P. Thomson fired electrons towards thin metal foil and achieved the same results.