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Normally I would just look at what information I am given to figure out what equation(s) I should use to solve my problem as, quite often, you can use many different methods to solve a problem. For the de Broglie equation, I think you would use it when given mass and speed of a particle to find its wavelength.
Another common problem concerning the De Broglie Equation is one in which they give you the wavelength and mass and ask you to calculate the speed. In all these problems, they give you 2 of the 3 variables (Planck's constant is known) and you are asked to calculate the third one.
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