What is Matter wave: Definition and 25 Discussions

Matter waves are a central part of the theory of quantum mechanics, being an example of wave–particle duality. All matter exhibits wave-like behavior. For example, a beam of electrons can be diffracted just like a beam of light or a water wave. In most cases, however, the wavelength is too small to have a practical impact on day-to-day activities.
The concept that matter behaves like a wave was proposed by French physicist Louis de Broglie () in 1924. It is also referred to as the de Broglie hypothesis. Matter waves are referred to as de Broglie waves.
The de Broglie wavelength is the wavelength, λ, associated with a massive particle (i.e., a particle with mass, as opposed to a massless particle) and is related to its momentum, p, through the Planck constant, h:







{\displaystyle \lambda ={\frac {h}{p}}={\frac {h}{mv}}.}
Wave-like behavior of matter was first experimentally demonstrated by George Paget Thomson's thin metal diffraction experiment, and independently in the Davisson–Germer experiment, both using electrons; and it has also been confirmed for other elementary particles, neutral atoms and even molecules.

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  1. jaketodd

    I What is the limit in size that two particles/objects can be entangled?

    What is the limit in size that two particles/objects can be entangled? With the double slit experiment, I know that there are matter waves, of large size - not just individual photons. So can a matter wave be entangled with another one, or even just a single particle with the matter wave...
  2. Philip Koeck

    I Phase velocity and frequency of a matter wave

    The relationships for matter waves are (see e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matter_wave): λ = h / p and E = h f, where E = m c2 From this the phase velocity can be derived and we get vph = c2 / v. v is the group velocity, which is also the velocity of the particle. If I consider these...
  3. G

    I Conventional description of the matter wave

    I have been working on a relatively simple problem. Just take a quantum wave function for which a physical requirement is that an arbitrary displacement of x or an arbitrary shift of t should not alter the character of the wave, and I want to find the state function solution. A possible guess...
  4. Jaden159

    A Is energy contained in matter wave equals hv like EM waves?

    h is plank constant and v is frequency. I was using this to derive the TDSE. But I ran into problem because to substitute k^2 in E=h^2/8mpi^2 * k^2, I can use single derivative of psi squared or double derivative, both of which tend to give the correct answer. So, is my assumption of energy...
  5. S

    A What is the Wavelength of the Pilot Wave in the Pilot Wave Theory?

    Hi, I am new to the Pilot Wave theory. In my understanding this theory gives a hope for reconstruction of the realism. But I have several maybe naif questions. What is the wavelength of the pilot wave? Is it the same as deBroglie wavelength formula? Very often people use the walking droplets...
  6. B

    Does the moon orbit as a classical particle?

    The moon orbits Earth at a radius of 3.84E8 m. To do so as a classical particle, its wavelength should be small. But small relative to what? Being a rough measure of the region where it is confined, the orbit radius is certainly a relevant dimension against which to compare the wavelength...
  7. SunRay-dvsh

    A Why is the Matter wave analogous to photon and derived from it?

    The electromagnetic wave derivation uses the fact that charge enclosed is zero and it goes to obey plane wave equations. Lets say we were deriving a wave equation from maxwell's equations for electron wave motion, but we assume that charge enclosed is not zero, and come up with some...
  8. LarryC

    I What specific momentum should be used in the matter wave?

    According to de Broglie's hypothesis, the matter wavelength could be described by lamda=h/p. But which momentum, the classical p=mv, or the relativistic one p=mv(1-v^2/c^2)^(-1/2) should be used in this equation? Additionally, an even more confusing issue to me is regarding the other relation...
  9. T

    What allow matter wave propagation?

    If waves require a medium or some kind of force carrier to propagate, how exactly do matter waves propagate?
  10. Amal George M

    Wavelength of matter wave at v=0

    if velocity of a huge particle is made zero what will happen?? will the particle spread out into the universe aka complete delocalization??
  11. A

    Group velocity and phase velocity of a matter wave

    Hi. Today I sat my final first year Modern Physics exam. It went very well, however I got stuck in one question. It asked (i) to prove the following relation for the matter wave \omega^{2}=k^{2}c^{2}+m^{2}c^{4}/\hbar^{2} and (ii) to obtain the group velocity and phase velocity of a matter wave...
  12. V

    What is the relationship between frequency and energy in matter waves?

    in my book ,their is a equation f= E/h what is the E means? Total energy? Does it includes the rest energy ?
  13. D

    Matter wave - relationship between broglie wavelength, wavelength

    Homework Statement 1. fh stands for energy of a particle. But what is included in the energy ? K.E. of the particle only ? 1.1. If fh is the K.E only, then I have a question. λ=h/p --> fλ=fh/mv --> mv^2 = fh. It is strange that fh = mv^2 but not 1/2 mv^2. 2. Is broglie wavelength equivalent to...
  14. H

    Velocity and Phase Velocity of Matter Wave

    In quantum mechanics, what is the difference between velocity and phase velocity of matter wave? How can it also be that phase velocity of matter wave always exceeds the speed of light?
  15. 1

    Why does the momentum of a matter wave depend on the phase velocity?

    de Broglie relations say that E = hf and p = h/λ which implies E/p = λf = ω/κ = vp, or p = E/vp. It seems to me like the momentum of a particle described by a matter wave should relate to the group velocity not the phase velocity, because the group velocity is generally the actual velocity of...
  16. A

    Interpretation of De Broglie's wavelength ( matter wave ) for macro objects?

    The De Broglie's wavelength is given by λ = h / mv h = 6.626 x 10^(-34) Js Now, if a macro-object of 6.626 kg is moving at a speed of 10^(-34) m/s then its De Broglie's wavelength comes out to be 1 meter (metre). What does it mean to have 1 meter wavelength for that object? If another object...
  17. J

    Matter Wave Analogies: Exploring Electron Band Gaps

    I understand the concept of matter waves. Light has wave-particle duality; it has both wave-like (electromagnetic wave) and particle-like (photons) properties. Similarly, according to de Broglie, all particles (electrons, protons, etc.) have a wave-like property, with their momentum (where...
  18. G

    What are the matter wave polarization parameters?

    E/M waves can be polarized, presumably, by filtering either their electric or magnetic transverse vectors. What about matter waves? Can they be electrically or magnetically polarized? Can they be polarized with respect to spin, parity, or any other parameter? That's a lot of...
  19. W

    De Broglie's Wavelength (matter wave)

    Homework Statement Parallel beam of "cold" neutrons in the x-axis, with energy 0.1eV strikes a slit system in y-z plane. Slits are parallel to the y-axis 1 micron apart. What will be the distance between the detector at x=20m which records the highest flux of neutrons, and the closest one...
  20. D

    De Broigle's equation for matter wave and slowing down an object

    De Broigle's equation for "matter wave" and slowing down an object I was reading the wave-particle duality and there are is something I don't understand: Can you slow down an object enough for it to start behaving as a wave ? ej: let's say I weight 81 kg and I want to behave as a wave of...
  21. M

    Difference between EM wave & a Matter wave ?

    Homework Statement Difference between EM wave & a Matter wave ?
  22. Q

    Matter wave, light wave and water wave

    On Particle-Wave duality In the physicists' eyes there are only two kinds of entities/matter. One and particle and the other is wave. I guess it is difficult to find the third one besides the two. There are many kinds of particles, with different mass, charge, spin, or others. There are many...
  23. P

    Calculating Electron Energy, Momentum, Wavelength

    Photon's energy E=\frac{hc}{\lambda} and photon's momentum p =\frac{E}{c} = \frac{h}{\lambda} The textbook say electron's momentum is p=\frac{h}{\lambda} I wonder that can the electron's energy be calculated by E=\frac{hc}{\lambda} ? If it can, what kinds of energy does E...
  24. T

    Understanding Matter Waves and Wave-Vector Distribution in Quantum Mechanics

    G'day guys, Just looking for a bit of help... I'm not sure that I fully understand the question here either... but here goes: a) Using the Fourier integral, \Psi(x)=\frac{1}{\sqrt{2\pi}}\int_{-\infty}^{+\infty}a(k)e^{ikx}dk Show that a matter wave having a wave-vector distribution...
  25. A

    Bose-Einstein Condensates. What is a matter wave ?

    Bose-Einstein Condensates. What is a "matter wave"? Greetings. I was reading a rather non-descriptive page about Bose-Einstein Condensates. I've never really read much about them before, but now I find myself interested. This page mentioned that BECs form "matter waves" about a millimetre...