# Physics A-level:de Broglie confuses me

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Why exactly does a particle with more momentum have a shorter wavelength?Surely if it’s got more “oomph” the wavelength travelled by the particle will be greater so the diffraction pattern should be greater(more spread out).

I know that in reality this greater momentum(either through greater mass and/or velocity of the particle) results in a shorter wavelength and therefore smaller spread of lines/spacing of rings in the diffraction pattern but I don’t understand why.I understand the de Broglie wavelength and the relationship between the wavelength,plancks constant and momentum but I’m stuck here.

THANKS FOR ANY HELP BTW

I know that in reality this greater momentum(either through greater mass and/or velocity of the particle) results in a shorter wavelength and therefore smaller spread of lines/spacing of rings in the diffraction pattern but I don’t understand why.I understand the de Broglie wavelength and the relationship between the wavelength,plancks constant and momentum but I’m stuck here.

THANKS FOR ANY HELP BTW

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Some things you just don’t question my dude wavelength is inversely proportional to momentum which is mass*velocty so

Wavelength = h/mv so wavelength is inversely proportional to mass/velocity too.

SO higher mass or velocity or momentum also means smaller wavelength, pretty sure the spec don’t want you to know WHY this is the case, just that it IS the case.

Also remember stupid questions like protons not being able to do wave particle bs as good as electrons because they have a larger mass so larger momentum so smaller wavelength making them harder to observe potential patterns

Edit: I just realised I told you what you already know, but that’s the point you don’t need to know anymore, physics is disgusting anyway don’t torture yourself with more knowledge

Wavelength = h/mv so wavelength is inversely proportional to mass/velocity too.

SO higher mass or velocity or momentum also means smaller wavelength, pretty sure the spec don’t want you to know WHY this is the case, just that it IS the case.

Also remember stupid questions like protons not being able to do wave particle bs as good as electrons because they have a larger mass so larger momentum so smaller wavelength making them harder to observe potential patterns

Edit: I just realised I told you what you already know, but that’s the point you don’t need to know anymore, physics is disgusting anyway don’t torture yourself with more knowledge

Last edited by Okay123; 1 year ago

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(Original post by

Why exactly does a particle with more momentum have a shorter wavelength?Surely if it’s got more “oomph” the wavelength travelled by the particle will be greater so the diffraction pattern should be greater(more spread out).

I know that in reality this greater momentum(either through greater mass and/or velocity of the particle) results in a shorter wavelength and therefore smaller spread of lines/spacing of rings in the diffraction pattern but I don’t understand why.I understand the de Broglie wavelength and the relationship between the wavelength,plancks constant and momentum but I’m stuck here.

THANKS FOR ANY HELP BTW

**someusernamet**)Why exactly does a particle with more momentum have a shorter wavelength?Surely if it’s got more “oomph” the wavelength travelled by the particle will be greater so the diffraction pattern should be greater(more spread out).

I know that in reality this greater momentum(either through greater mass and/or velocity of the particle) results in a shorter wavelength and therefore smaller spread of lines/spacing of rings in the diffraction pattern but I don’t understand why.I understand the de Broglie wavelength and the relationship between the wavelength,plancks constant and momentum but I’m stuck here.

THANKS FOR ANY HELP BTW

*and*particle properties.

It doesn't make very much sense to think of a particle moving through space as having a wavelength, since a wavelength is defined as the distance between two adjacent points of equal displacement along a wave. There's no clear way to define this for a particle. The de Broglie equation states that every particle with momentum can exhibit wave properties.

A level physics equation derivations are

*very*questionable sometimes, but this explanation may help you to get a little intuition as to why this works.

You'll be familiar with the equation which relates energy of a photon to its frequency. Since for waves, we can write which implies that a photon has wave properties, due to having a wavelength.

There's also a more general equation relating mass and energy, . We can set these equal and show that so and .

You can then deduce that increasing the momentum (or more generally, ) will decrease the wavelength

*associated with the particle*. The wavelength has nothing to do with how much 'oomph' the particle has; the wavelength that you work out using the equation is the wavelength that the particle would have if it were behaving as a wave.

Last edited by GreenCub; 1 year ago

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(Original post by

When you consider wave-particle duality, you should think of the photon/electron/whatever it is as having both wave

It doesn't make very much sense to think of a particle moving through space as having a wavelength, since a wavelength is defined as the distance between two adjacent points of equal displacement along a wave. There's no clear way to define this for a particle. The de Broglie equation states that every particle with momentum can exhibit wave properties.

A level physics equation derivations are

You'll be familiar with the equation which relates energy of a photon to its frequency. Since for waves, we can write which implies that a photon has wave properties, due to having a wavelength.

There's also a more general equation relating mass and energy, . We can set these equal and show that so and .

You can then deduce that increasing the momentum (or more generally, ) will decrease the wavelength

**GreenCub**)When you consider wave-particle duality, you should think of the photon/electron/whatever it is as having both wave

*and*particle properties.It doesn't make very much sense to think of a particle moving through space as having a wavelength, since a wavelength is defined as the distance between two adjacent points of equal displacement along a wave. There's no clear way to define this for a particle. The de Broglie equation states that every particle with momentum can exhibit wave properties.

A level physics equation derivations are

*very*questionable sometimes, but this explanation may help you to get a little intuition as to why this works.You'll be familiar with the equation which relates energy of a photon to its frequency. Since for waves, we can write which implies that a photon has wave properties, due to having a wavelength.

There's also a more general equation relating mass and energy, . We can set these equal and show that so and .

You can then deduce that increasing the momentum (or more generally, ) will decrease the wavelength

*associated with the particle*. The wavelength has nothing to do with how much 'oomph' the particle has; the wavelength that you work out using the equation is the wavelength that the particle would have if it were behaving as a wave.First of all, you really need to understand conceptually what is the

*m*in the equation of

*E*=

*mc*

^{2}. The

*m*in the equation of

*E*=

*mc*

^{2}is the rest mass of the object and photon does not have rest mass. If the “object” does not have rest mass, it can travel at the speed of light

*c*while object such as electrons and protons that has rest mass, cannot travel at the speed of light.

When we want to talk about wave-particle duality, it always better to use

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matter_wave

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