Matter wave

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

In quantum mechanics, a branch of physics, a matter wave is when you think of matter as a wave. The concept of matter waves was first introduced by Louis de Broglie. Matter waves are hard to visualize, because we are used to thinking of matter as a physical object. De Broglie revolutionized quantum mechanics by producing the equation for matter waves.

Wavelength of Matter[change | change source]

As experiments on light revealed that photons possessed both wavelike and particular properties, they were considered at the time to have a dual nature as both particles and waves. De Broglie showed that matter might exhibit such a 'wave-particle duality' as well. Basing his formula on earlier formulas, he arrived at the equation below.

Where λ is the wavelength of the object, h is Planck's constant, m is the mass of the object, and v is the velocity of the object. An alternate and also correct version of this formula is

Where p is the momentum. (Momentum is equal to mass times velocity). These equations merely say that matter exhibits a particle-like nature in some circumstances, and a wave-like characteristic at other times. Erwin Schrödinger created an advanced equation based on this formula and the Bohr model, known as the Schrödinger equation.

Related pages[change | change source]