• Join over 1.2 million students every month
• Accelerate your learning by 29%
• Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
1. 1
1
2. 2
2

# Wave-particle Duality

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Tanvir Rafe

Wave-particle duality

Physics

In the early 1800's, scientists Michael Faraday, Augustin Fresnel and Thomas Young discovered and showed that light rays actually have the structure of waves. James Clerk Maxwell came up with the famous “Maxwell's four equations” that describe the phenomenon of light, called electromagnetic waves. However, the idea that light can have properties of both waves and particles does not appear in Maxwell’s equations.

Henrich Hertz then discovered the photoelectric effect, he discovered that an electric current made of electrons emanates out of a photoelectric material when hit with light rays. Maxwell’s Equations did not explain this, so, in 1905 Albert Einstein used the quantum of energy theory to explain the extraction of the electrons.  Einstein theorized that light rays are made of packets of energy, nowadays called photons

Middle

photons. When these particles strike a surface, they transfer their energy to electrons. Once freed, the electrons move along the metal or get ejected from the surface.

Einstein said that:

All matter exhibits both wave and particle properties.

An electron is a particle and a wave at the same time.

To summarise, there are two ways in which it can be proven that light behaves like a particle and a wave, in a double-slit experiment and using the aforementioned photoelectric effect. In the former, the apparatus is set up like this:

Here, when the light passes through the two slits, it creates an interference pattern. When electrons are fired through the two slits, the expected result would be a random pattern, however, it actually creates an interference pattern similar to that which light produces.

Conclusion

The next question, asked by Louis de Broglie, was "If waves can behave like particles, can particles behave like waves?" In the case of light, exposing the particle properties was simply a matter of using the photoelectric effect).

They aimed a beam of electrons at a crystal, and observed the electrons that were reflected off it. If the electron beam can behave as a wave, then as the wave is reflected off the crystal, the rows of atoms should have the same effect as the slits in Young's experiment. The result is that instead of the electrons being scattered from the crystal randomly, the reflected electrons exhibit an interference pattern like the light in Young's experiment.

The result was that the electron beam was reflected like a wave, rather than like particles. They concluded, that wave particle duality is a property not only of light (photons), but of matter as well.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Modern Physics section.

## Found what you're looking for?

• Start learning 29% faster today
• 150,000+ documents available
• Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
• Join over 1.2 million students every month
• Accelerate your learning by 29%
• Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

# Related AS and A Level Modern Physics essays

1. ## Albert Einstein - The father of modern physics

4 star(s)

"On the Motion of Small Particles Suspended in a Stationary Liquid, as Required by the Molecular Kinetic Theory of Heat", this paper provided an explanation to Brownian motion, which is the movement of a particle or molecule due to bombardment by many smaller particles or molecules (at least that is

2. ## A2 OCR B (Advancing Physics) - Research and Report: Nuclear Fusion as an Energy ...

Of all the current nuclear fusion reactor experiments JET and ITER are the largest. JET, Joint European Torus, based in Culham Science Centre in the UK, is the centre of Europe's fusion research. JET is currently the world's largest tokomak capable of delivering up to 30 MW of power, it

1. ## The development of the modern concept of the atom, the size and nature of ...

This was something measurable, making Dalton's the first quantitative atomic theory ever advanced. Chemists had long puzzled over why a substance such as copper carbonate, however prepared, always contained the same proportions by weight of copper (five parts), oxygen (four parts), and carbon (one part).

2. ## What are Quantum Computers?

algorithm for solving the problem. In particular, most of the popular public key ciphers could be much more quickly broken, including forms of RSA, ElGamal and Diffie-Hellman. These are used to protect secure Web pages, encrypted email, and many other types of data.

1. ## Quantum Phenomena Observed During Near Absolute Zero Conditions

The Indian theoretical physicists Satyendra Nath Bose in the 1920s, whilst studying the new idea of light being made from discrete packets (now we know as quanta or photons), proposed some rules which decided whether two photon should be treated as the same particle or differently.

2. ## The Life and Influences of Albert Einstein

It is important to understand that Einstein's innovations and theory's came at a time when science and technology was booming. Scientific revolutions were occurring with uncanny frequency in the disciplines of biology, invention, and chemistry due to the devotion of numerous, professional scientists.

1. ## A2 OCR B Advancing Physics Coursework - Research and Report - The development of ...

Einstein doesn't need a box - everything that happens affects space-time, everything that happens in space-time affects the universe. This internal fabric contains embedded celestial bodies which interact, warp, bend, and distort the space-time according to their mass. 2 Newton and Einstein's equations make essentially identical predictions as long as

2. ## Modern Physics - AQA GCE Physics B - Revision Notes

The intensity of the magnetic field varied in the same way as the current (and so the original sound) recording tapes have a thin plastic tape coated with a thin layer of ferric oxide powder ? which can be permanently magnetised by the magnetic field.

• Over 160,000 pieces
of student written work
• Annotated by
experienced teachers
• Ideas and feedback to