Wavelength properties of electrons

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Ryan Juncker 3D
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Wavelength properties of electrons

Postby Ryan Juncker 3D » Sun Oct 13, 2019 2:41 pm

What does Dr. Lavelle mean in lecture when he states that all matter has wavelike properties but it is only noticed in moving objects with extremely small masses like electrons? Thanks

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Re: Wavelength properties of electrons

Postby dtolentino1E » Sun Oct 13, 2019 2:56 pm

hi there!

i believe it is because the wavelength of macroscopic objects is just too small. if you look at the De Broglie equation, wavelength = h/mv, the larger the mass, the smaller the wavelength will be because planck's constant is divided by mass. when the wavelength is just that small, then there can really be no wave properties observed on the object

i hope this helps!

Jessica Castellanos
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Re: Wavelength properties of electrons

Postby Jessica Castellanos » Sun Oct 13, 2019 3:13 pm

I completely agree with the post before and if it helps, you can think of it with the fact that when we measure the motion of a baseball we don't look at wavelength and frequency like we would with an electron, we instead look at mass and velocity because the wavelike properties of a baseball are undetectable in a baseball because it's large size that makes it have more noticeable particle-like properties. Hope this helps.

Sydney Pell 2E
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Re: Wavelength properties of electrons

Postby Sydney Pell 2E » Sun Oct 13, 2019 7:52 pm

Typically, if the calculated De Broglie wavelength of an object is less than 10^-15 m, its wave-like properties are not detectable. Electrons and other small particles would have a wavelength that is higher than 10^-15m, so only typically in smaller objects would this be used.

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Re: Wavelength properties of electrons

Postby Goyama_2A » Sun Oct 13, 2019 7:58 pm

It’s easier to think of it as “visible wavelike properties” (Even though it means the same thing). I think it helps because in the examples we worked on in class, the ones on the topic used that terminology. It’s a helpful reminder that as wavelength gets smaller than 10^-15 m it gets less and less noticeable rather than when wavelength gets larger than 10^-15 m.

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