Home | | Chemistry | | Chemistry | de-Broglie Relation and Significance of de-Broglie waves

de-Broglie Relation and Significance of de-Broglie waves

The wavelength of the wave associated with any material particle was calculated by analogy with photon as follows :-

de-Broglie Relation

The wavelength of the wave associated with any material particle was calculated by analogy with photon as follows :-

In case of a photon, if it is assumed to have wave character, its energy is given by

E = hv (according to the Planck's quantum theory) ...(i) where v is the frequency of the wave and h is Planck's constant.

If the photon is supposed to have particle character, its energy is given by

E = mc2 (according to Einstein equation) ...(ii)

where m is the mass of photon and c is the velocity of light.

From equations (i) and (ii), we get

h ν = mc2

But ν= c / λ

h . c / λ = mc2

or λ = h / mc

de Broglie pointed out that the above equation is applicable to any material particle. The mass of the photon is replaced by the mass of the material particle and the velocity 'c' of the photon is replaced by the velocity v of the material particle. Thus, for any material particle like electron, we may write

λ = h / mv or λ = h / p

where mv = p is the momentum of the particle.

The above equation is called de Broglie equation and 'λ' is called de Broglie wavelength.

Thus the significance of de Broglie equation lies in the fact that it relates the particle character with the wave character of matter.

Louis de-Broglie's concept of dual nature of matter finds application in the construction of electron microscope and in the study of surface structure of solids by electron diffraction. The de-Broglie's concept can be applied not only to electrons but also to other small particles like neutrons, protons, atoms, molecules etc.,

Significance of de-Broglie waves

The wave nature of matter, however, has no significance for objects of ordinary size because wavelength of the wave associated with them is too small to be detected. This can be illustrated by the following examples.

i)          Suppose we consider an electron of mass 9.1 × 10-31 kg and moving with a velocity of 107 ms-1. Its de-Broglie wavelength will be;

λ =h/ mv = 6.626 × 10-34 kg m2s-1  / ( 9.1 × 10-31 kg ×107 ms-1) = 0.727 × 10-10m = 7.27 × 10-11m

This value of λ can be measured by the method similar to that for the determination of wave length of X-rays.

Let us now consider a ball of mass 10-2 kg moving with a velocity of 102 ms-1. Its de-Broglie wave length will be;

This value of λ can be measured by the method similar to that for the determination of wave length of X-rays.

Let us now consider a ball of mass 10-2 kg moving with a velocity of 102 ms-1. Its de-Broglie wave length will be;

λ =h/ mv = 6.626 × 10-34 kg m2s-1  / (10-2 kg ×102 ms-11) = 6.62x10-34m

This wavelength is too small to be measured, and hence de-Broglie relation has no significance for such a large object.

Thus, de-Broglie concept is significant only for sub-microscopic objects in the range of atoms, molecules or smaller sub-atomic particles.

Study Material, Lecturing Notes, Assignment, Reference, Wiki description explanation, brief detail

Related Topics