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Hi, could someone clarify the characteristics that make an electron act like both a particle and wave?
de Brogile proposed that essentially everything has a wavelength, whether that is a photon, electron, or a pen. However, according to the equation lambda = h/mv, the larger the mass, the smaller the wavelength. As a result, the wavelength property of objects with larger mass is not as significant.
From the classic double slit diffraction experiment carried out using an electron beam, it was proven that individual electrons would make contact at singular points on the other side (demonstrating a particle-like nature) but given sufficient time and electrons passing through, the resulting pattern would resemble that produced by light waves with constructive and destructive interference (demonstrating a wave-like nature).
All matter has wavelike properties, but some wavelengths are too small to be measurable in classical objects like cars, pens, etc. Electrons on the other hand are very small and fast, so they exhibit wavelike properties. The photoelectric effect shows the electrons have both wavelike and particle like qualities.
The photoelectric effect demonstrates how electrons and light (little packets of energy called photons) have particle like properties. Their interaction is based on a one electron one photon interaction. According to De Broglie, anything that has rest mass has wave like properties, they can diffract, demonstrating wave like properties.
Various experiments displayed the wave-particle duality of electrons. The photoelectric effect showed how electrons acted as particles because when a photon with a certain threshold frequency was absorbed by an electron, the electron was shot out like a particle (kind of like billiards). In contrast, in the double slit experiment, when electrons were shot through a wall with a double slit, a screen at the back wall displayed an interference pattern. This is because the electrons acted like waves and when the waves of the electrons overlapped perfectly, there was constructive interference and when they overlapped poorly, there was destructive interference. If the electrons acted solely as particles, there would be no interference pattern but rather two locations where the electrons hit the back wall that correspond to each of the two slits.
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