next up previous contents index
Next: Electrons as de Broglie Up: Bohr model Previous: Bohr model

de Broglie waves

In the early 1900s there were two broad theories of nature - Maxwell's theory of electromagnetism and light, and Newton's laws for the motion of particles. Some scientists from a philosophical viewpoint didn't like this separation, and were looking for connections between the two general theories. One scientist, de Broglie, proposed that, like light, ordinary particles could exhibit wave-like properties. He furthermore wrote down a relation between the wavelength of a wave which was to be associated with a particle:

\fbox{\parbox{4.5in}{\vspace*{7pt}Wavelength = h / ( mass x speed ) \vspace*{7pt}}}

where ``h'' is a constant called Planck's constant:

\fbox{\parbox{4.5in}{\vspace*{7pt} h = Planck's constant = 6.63 x $10^{-34}$\space Joule -- seconds\vspace*{7pt}}}

Such waves are now called de Broglie waves.