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WAVE NATURE

OF MATTER
A PROJECT FILE
PREPARED BY
SUBMITTED TO
TEJINDER SIR

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
1

Primarily I would thank God for being able to complete this


project with success. Then I would like to thank my physics
teacher Tejinder Sir. , whose valuable guidance has been
the ones that helped me patch this project and make it full
proof success his suggestions and his instructions has
served as the major contributor towards the completion of
the project. Then I would like to thank my parents and
friends

who

have

helped

me

with

their

valuable

suggestions and guidance has been helpful in various


phases of the completion of the project. Last but not the
least I would like to thank my classmates who have helped
me a lot.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

DE BROGILE HYPOTHESIS
AND WAVE NATURE OF
MATTER

Page 4-5

Page 5-8

DAVISSON
AND
GERMER EXPERIMENT

THOMSON
EXPERIMENT

Page 8-11

REFERENCES

Page 12

De Brogile Hypothesis and wave nature of matter

In 1924, the French physicist Louis Victor de Broglie


(1892-1987) put forward the bold hypothesis that moving
particles of matter should display wave-like properties
under suitable conditions. He reasoned that nature was
symmetrical and that the two basic physical entities matter
and energy, must have symmetrical character. If radiation
shows dual aspects, so should matter.

De Broglie proposed that the wave length


associated with a particle of momentum p is given as

= h/p = h/mv

where m is the mass of the particle and v its speed. This


equation is known as the de Broglie relation and the
wavelength of the matter wave is called de Broglie
wavelength. The dual aspect of matter is evident in the de
Broglie relation. On the left hand side of equation is the
attribute of a wave while on the right hand side the
momentum p is a typical attribute of a particle. Plancks
constant h relates the two attributes. Clearly is smaller
for a heavier particle (large m) or more energetic particle
(large v).
In 1929, de Broglie was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics
for his discovery of the wave nature of electrons. A matter
wave associated with a moving particle is represented by a
wave packet as shown in the given figure:

DAVISSON AND GERMER EXPERIMENT


The wave nature of electrons was first experimentally
verified by C.J. Davisson and L.H. Germer in 1927 and
independently by G.P. Thomson, in 1928, who observed
diffraction effects with beams of electrons scattered by
crystals. Davisson and Thomson shared the Nobel Prize in
1937 for their experimental discovery of diffraction of
electrons by crystals.
The experimental arrangement used by Davisson and
Germer consists of an electron gun which comprises of a
tungsten filament F, coated with barium oxide and heated
by a low voltage power supply (L.T. or battery).
Electrons emitted by the filament are accelerated to a
desired velocity by applying suitable potential/voltage from
a high voltage power supply (H.T. or battery). They are
made to pass through a cylinder with fine holes along its
axis,
producing
a
fine
collimated beam. The beam
is made to fall on the surface
of a nickel crystal. The
electrons are scattered in all
directions by the atoms of
the crystal. The intensity of
the electron beam,

scattered in a given direction, is measured by the electron


detector (collector). The detector can be moved on a
circular scale and is connected to a sensitive
galvanometer, which records the current. The deflection of
the galvanometer is proportional to the intensity of the
electron beam entering the collector. The apparatus is
enclosed in an evacuated chamber.
By moving the detector on the circular scale at different
positions, the
intensity of the scattered electron beam is measured for
different values
of angle of scattering which is the angle between the
incident and the
scattered electron beams. The variation of the intensity (I)
of the scattered electrons with the angle of scattering is
obtained for different accelerating voltages.
The experiment was performed by varying the accelerating
voltage
from 44 V to 68 V. It was noticed that a strong peak
appeared in the
intensity (I) of the scattered electron for an accelerating
voltage of 54V at
a scattering angle = 50
The appearance of the peak in a particular direction is due
to the
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constructive interference of electrons scattered from


different layers of the regularly spaced atoms of the
crystals. From the electron diffraction
measurements, the wavelength of matter waves was found
to be 0.165 nm.
The de Broglie wavelength associated with electrons,
using
for V = 54 V is given by
= h /p = 1227/ (V)1/2 = 1227/(54)1/2 = 0.167 nm
Thus, there is an excellent agreement between the
theoretical value
and the experimentally obtained value of de Broglie
wavelength. Davisson Germer experiment thus strikingly
confirms the wave nature of electrons and the de Broglie
relation.
Experiments
with
Fresnel
diffraction
and
specular reflection of
neutral
atoms
confirm
the application to atoms of the de Broglie hypothesis.
Further, recent experiments confirm the relations for
molecules and even macromolecules, normally considered
too large to undergo quantum mechanical effects. In 1999,
a research team in Vienna demonstrated diffraction for
molecules as large as fullerenes. The researchers
calculated a De Broglie wavelength of the most probable
C60 velocity as
2.5pm.
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THOMSON EXPERIMENT
After the experiments on diffraction of electrons by C. J.
Davisson and L. H. Germer, G. P. Thomson, the son of J. J.
Thomson, also replicated the experiment on electron
diffraction in 1927.
Electrons from an electron source were accelerated
towards a positive electrode into which a small hole was
drilled. The resulting narrow beam of electrons was
directed towards a thin, rolled foil of gold. After passing
through the hole in the gold foil, the electron beam was
received on a photographic plate placed perpendicular to
the direction of the beam.

The diffraction pattern was in the form of continuous,


alternate black and white rings as diffraction was due to
the crystalline grains which were randomly oriented at all
possible angles in the gold foil. The diffraction rings had
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narrowly defined radii and always seemed to occur in


multiples i.e. circles of radii 2r,\,3r\, They were similar to
the sharply defined principle maxima of the intensity
pattern for -slits. Here the planes of atoms in the crystal
act as slits.
The radii of the different sets of rings were found to
correspond precisely to the spacing of the various planes of
atoms. Electrons were scattered at different angles from
the atoms of crystallites and produced interference pattern
with maxima corresponding to those angles satisfying the
Bragg condition. In terms of the probabilistic interpretation
of matter waves, the probability of finding an electron
scattered at an angle \theta\, is exactly equal to computed
intensity pattern of interfering waves associated with
electron beam.
The diffraction pattern due to polycrystalline material was
similar to the powder diffraction pattern of X-rays having
wavelength equal to the de Broglie wavelength of
electrons. The wavelength of electrons was varied by
changing the incident energy of the electrons, then
diameters of the diffraction rings changed proportionately
according to the Bragg's equation.
When crystalline sample of aluminum was used, the
diffraction pattern changed to spots lying around a ring-like
structure.
For Aluminum, the spacing between atomic planes
..
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According to the N-slit interference formula, the


-order
principle maximum occurs at angle . Braggs condition is

. (Wavenumber

for

(i.e. the first-order principle maximum).

From the experimental observations it is found that


depends on the voltage as
.
For electron having mass , velocity ,
Kinetic Energy
the relations are

momentum ,

Momentum is controlled by the voltage .Thus


both are proportional to
, (

is the constant of proportionality)

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and

This is the relation between two intrinsic properties and


Momentum of electrons.

By substituting the values for the constants


the relation

and using

,
Value of the proportionality constant comes out to be
about
J s,This value is quite close to the official
value of which is a universal constant of nature known as
reduced Planck's constant and given by
Thus the de Broglies relation and his hypothesis of matter
waves are verified.
REFERENCES
Abragam, A. (1988). Louis Victor Pierre Raymond de Broglie. 15 August 1892-19 March
1987. Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, 34(0), pp.22-41.
Greatians.com,
(2016).
PARTICLES
AND
WAVE.
[online]
http://www.greatians.com/physics/mass/particles%20wave.htm#MK.1.0
Jan. 2016].

Available
[Accessed

at:
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ncertbooks.prashanthellina.com, (2016). DUAL NATURE OF RADIATION AND MATTER.


[online]
Available
at:
http://ncertbooks.prashanthellina.com/class_12.Physics.PhysicsPartII/ch%2011.pdf
[Accessed 12 Jan. 2016].
pms.iitk.ernet.in/, (2016). Experimental Confirmation of Matter Waves. [online] Available
at:
http://pms.iitk.ernet.in/wiki/index.php/Experimental_Confirmation_of_Matter_Waves
[Accessed 12 Jan. 2016].
Rae, A. (1972). Lester H. Germer. Phys. Today, 25(1), p.93.
Wikipedia,
(2016).
George
Paget
Thomson.
[online]
Available
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Paget_Thomson [Accessed 13 Jan. 2016].
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at:

Wikipedia,
(2016).
Waveparticle
duality.
[online]
Available
at:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wave%E2%80%93particle_duality [Accessed 12 Jan. 2016].

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