2614 Shares

# What physical quantity does a De Broglie Wavelength refer to?

Topic: Mystery story writing paper
June 17, 2019 / By Caryn
Question: I know the formula, yeah, but I'm trying to conceptualize what the wavelength itself refers to. It should be the length of one "cycle" for a particle, right? So what does that "cycle" look like exactly, and what does a longer or shorter wavelength, then, say about it? Ok, Ok, Ok, So "wavelength" is more an analogy than anything else? It tells us to give the thing a sinusoidal type of relationship, but doesn't refer to anything that actually "is" a wavelength? Is that a correct interpretation of what you've said? Oh my, Redbeard, your answer is different. Is that like how much the particle may "jitter," then? I would have assumed that that was more analogous to an amplitude, but I'll see if I can't try and build that into my conception if I can. Or I may have misunderstood. Please let me know if that's the case. Wow, I'm sorry. I can't believe I was being so dense. Lemme double check I've got this straight: When we talk about the wavelength of a particle, we aren't talking about it as a particle at all, but rather as LITERALLY a wave. So the De Broglie wavelength can't be talked about as anything else, because it ACTUALLY IS a wavelength. That actually makes perfect sense. I'm sorry for making you write all that. ...provided I'm actually getting it now. I am, right?

## Best Answers: What physical quantity does a De Broglie Wavelength refer to?

Anima | 6 days ago
Quantum mechanics has it's own rules. They do not conform to our experience with the macro world, things larger than an atom. You must accept the rules even though they are counter intuitive and seem to make no sense. They are rational and consistent don't try to make the quantum behavior fit your experience Sometimes quanta behave like a wave and sometimes they behave as a particle these are mutually exclusive concepts, but true and the way quantum mechanics works. Just accept it don't try to understand it. Because quanta are both a wave and a particle it is useful to be able to use the equations of wave mechanics to describe the behavior of quanta. de Broglie gives us a way to convert the energy or moment of a quantum into something (wavelength) that we can plug into the wave equations and get right answers EDIT: "So "wavelength" is more an analogy than anything else? It tells us to give the thing a sinusoidal type of relationship, but doesn't refer to anything that actually "is" a wavelength? Is that a correct interpretation of what you've said?" No, it is more than an analogy. When we see wave behavior. It appears to really be a wave. This whole thing is one of the Great Mysteries of QM. 'I think it is safe to say that no one understands quantum mechanics'. Richard Feynman For now: We need the concept of alternating electromagnetic fields (waves) to explain certain physical phenomena, like the interference pattern in the 2 slit experiment. So we keep that. We must somehow explain how a particle orders of magnitude smaller than the distance between the slits somehow passes through both slits and interferes with itself. Problem, we cannot explain this well using "quanta" (Particles, photons). Wave mechanics gives a simple easy to understand explanation. We need the concept of quanta (particles, photons) to explain other phenomena, like the Photoelectric Effect. So we keep that too. But, this means we use 2 different, mutually exclusive systems of mechanics to explain electromagnetic radiation. What to do? We cheat! We say that electromagnetic radiation has a dual nature and choose the system of mechanics that works best for the problem at hand. (Even Einstein did it: June 1905, Einstein completes special relativity, which adds a twist to the story: Einstein's March paper treated light as particles, but special relativity sees light as a continuous field of waves. Alice's Red Queen can accept many impossible things before breakfast, but it takes a supremely confident mind to do so. Einstein, age 26, sees light as wave and particle, picking the attribute he needs to confront each problem in turn.) http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/einstein/ge... Quantum Mechanics gets out of this mess by introducing the Uncertainty Principle, Indeterminacy, and the Copenhagen Interpretation of QM. If we do NOT know which slit the particle went through, then the particle is "smeared out in equal parts" and goes through both slits. It turns into a fog. As long as it is a fog, it can pass through both slits. That is: The particle occupies a volume of space with some probability. QM says that so long as the position is not known, the particle occupies the entire volume. If we learn its position, the fog condenses into that location and the particle goes through one slit. (The problem with this is: Fog does not form interference, waves do. Sooner or later, in those problems where appropriate, you must give up particles and fogs and start cranking through the equations of Wave Mechanics) But, Quantum Mechanists prefer “fog” to, "The particle turns into a wave and goes through which ever slits are open. One slit, no pattern. Two slits, pattern. “ Take your choice of which mental picture you form. Rule of Thumb that got me through QM: If its’ position is known, it is a particle. If its’ position is unknown, it is a wave. This works because the equations of Wave Mechanics work, if the position is unknown. If you don’t tell anybody, no one will know the mental picture you formed to solve the problem. (This may not always work, but I do not remember a case where it failed …… Some experimental results, like this one, seem to prove beyond all possible doubt that light consists of particles; others insist, just as irrefutably, that it's waves. We can only conclude that light is somehow both a wave and a particle--or that it's something else we can't quite visualize, which appears to us as one or the other depending on how we look at it. http://www.colorado.edu/physics/2000/qua...
👍 200 | 👎 6
Did you like the answer? What physical quantity does a De Broglie Wavelength refer to? Share with your friends

We found more questions related to the topic: Mystery story writing paper

Originally Answered: What physical quantity does a De Broglie Wavelength refer to?
Quantum mechanics has it's own rules. They do not conform to our experience with the macro world, things larger than an atom. You must accept the rules even though they are counter intuitive and seem to make no sense. They are rational and consistent don't try to make the quantum behavior fit your experience Sometimes quanta behave like a wave and sometimes they behave as a particle these are mutually exclusive concepts, but true and the way quantum mechanics works. Just accept it don't try to understand it. Because quanta are both a wave and a particle it is useful to be able to use the equations of wave mechanics to describe the behavior of quanta. de Broglie gives us a way to convert the energy or moment of a quantum into something (wavelength) that we can plug into the wave equations and get right answers EDIT: "So "wavelength" is more an analogy than anything else? It tells us to give the thing a sinusoidal type of relationship, but doesn't refer to anything that actually "is" a wavelength? Is that a correct interpretation of what you've said?" No, it is more than an analogy. When we see wave behavior. It appears to really be a wave. This whole thing is one of the Great Mysteries of QM. 'I think it is safe to say that no one understands quantum mechanics'. Richard Feynman For now: We need the concept of alternating electromagnetic fields (waves) to explain certain physical phenomena, like the interference pattern in the 2 slit experiment. So we keep that. We must somehow explain how a particle orders of magnitude smaller than the distance between the slits somehow passes through both slits and interferes with itself. Problem, we cannot explain this well using "quanta" (Particles, photons). Wave mechanics gives a simple easy to understand explanation. We need the concept of quanta (particles, photons) to explain other phenomena, like the Photoelectric Effect. So we keep that too. But, this means we use 2 different, mutually exclusive systems of mechanics to explain electromagnetic radiation. What to do? We cheat! We say that electromagnetic radiation has a dual nature and choose the system of mechanics that works best for the problem at hand. (Even Einstein did it: June 1905, Einstein completes special relativity, which adds a twist to the story: Einstein's March paper treated light as particles, but special relativity sees light as a continuous field of waves. Alice's Red Queen can accept many impossible things before breakfast, but it takes a supremely confident mind to do so. Einstein, age 26, sees light as wave and particle, picking the attribute he needs to confront each problem in turn.) http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/einstein/ge... Quantum Mechanics gets out of this mess by introducing the Uncertainty Principle, Indeterminacy, and the Copenhagen Interpretation of QM. If we do NOT know which slit the particle went through, then the particle is "smeared out in equal parts" and goes through both slits. It turns into a fog. As long as it is a fog, it can pass through both slits. That is: The particle occupies a volume of space with some probability. QM says that so long as the position is not known, the particle occupies the entire volume. If we learn its position, the fog condenses into that location and the particle goes through one slit. (The problem with this is: Fog does not form interference, waves do. Sooner or later, in those problems where appropriate, you must give up particles and fogs and start cranking through the equations of Wave Mechanics) But, Quantum Mechanists prefer “fog” to, "The particle turns into a wave and goes through which ever slits are open. One slit, no pattern. Two slits, pattern. “ Take your choice of which mental picture you form. Rule of Thumb that got me through QM: If its’ position is known, it is a particle. If its’ position is unknown, it is a wave. This works because the equations of Wave Mechanics work, if the position is unknown. If you don’t tell anybody, no one will know the mental picture you formed to solve the problem. (This may not always work, but I do not remember a case where it failed …… Some experimental results, like this one, seem to prove beyond all possible doubt that light consists of particles; others insist, just as irrefutably, that it's waves. We can only conclude that light is somehow both a wave and a particle--or that it's something else we can't quite visualize, which appears to us as one or the other depending on how we look at it. http://www.colorado.edu/physics/2000/qua...
Originally Answered: What physical quantity does a De Broglie Wavelength refer to?
It is a measure of how "fuzzy" the particle is. How well its position is nailed down as opposed to its being spread out. As an example, electron microscopes can see finer than optical ones because the DeBroglie wavelengths of the electrons used are shorter than the wavelengths of visible light.

Wilmer
It is a measure of how "fuzzy" the particle is. How well its position is nailed down as opposed to its being spread out. As an example, electron microscopes can see finer than optical ones because the DeBroglie wavelengths of the electrons used are shorter than the wavelengths of visible light.
👍 80 | 👎 1

Selby
Are you attempting to get help on P.Chem homework? because of the fact no offense to the type human beings of Yahoo! solutions, yet i do no longer think of which you will locate plenty right here. attempt asking professors, TA's or the tutors available at your college any questions you do no longer comprehend. it will assist you to greater. seem interior the physics branch, they have a greater huge quantum direction many times.
👍 75 | 👎 -4

Originally Answered: How do I ask my boyfriend to not refer to me as his chick?
Mmmm...sounds like a little tough rut there. In some certain cultures i.e. music, fashion etc, using the word 'chick' to describe one's girlfriend can actually mean that you're hot, and tells the others that you're his, and that he is actually quite proud of you, ya know? Perhaps, we can also consider, if he was talking business language to his music friends, he might be accomodating their lingo since he's doing business with them? On top of that, perhaps it'd be better for you and him to simply talk casually over coffee instead of waging cold war on him as that might cause him to react defensively and thats not what you intended...perhaps what you might want to find out is what he meant when he said that to describe you. Did it meant to hurt you? What did it mean? Once you've got that in check then you can plan your next move. He might very well say, "oh it's nothing, i was just calling you 'honey/sweetheart' in a different lingo"...and if you really still don like that simply let him know...nicely of course. I'm sure he'd be quite compliant with that. =)

If you have your own answer to the question mystery story writing paper, then you can write your own version, using the form below for an extended answer.