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Davisson & Germer experiment question

  1. Aug 2, 2008 #1
    I've read that this experiment gives clear evidence that electrons do behave like waves and that their wavelength is given by the De Broglie formula. Why did this experiment convince the world so hardly about all this? I mean, can't the experiment results be explained treating the electrons as particles?
    Imagine you had an inclined ramp on the floor and you would let baseballs hit it, by letting them go from a certain distance above the ramp. You would have the baseballs be painted so that you could record the place in the floor where the they would land after hitting the ramp. After letting go like a thousand baseballs you would find a pattern in the floor. You will definitely have places where they would land most often, just like Davisson and Germer found with the diffraction patterns of the electrons. Still, you wouldn't attribute a wave-like nature to the baseballs.
    I don't know if that was clear, but could someone tell me why the Davisson Germer was so convincing?? I've also been skeptic about the De Broglie hypothesis, I mean maybe particles do behave like waves, but what is the mathematical derivation to get to his formula? His formula is deduced for photons (mass=0), but then this guy comes and says maybe that that formula also applies to particles with mass. Maybe this formula needs some extra term for describing particles with mass?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 3, 2008 #2
    As far as I know, the diffraction pattern matched the predicted pattern exactly, should the electrons have behaved like ways.
  4. Aug 3, 2008 #3
    Yes, I understand that the pattern found was pretty much that from waves... but still, can someone tell me why this experiment was so convincing? ... it was so convincing that de Broglie equation was undoubtly thought as being correct afterwards.
  5. Aug 3, 2008 #4
    I'd have to review the History in detail, but this 1927 experiment also follows the 1905 explanation of the photoelectric effect by Einstein, where the photon was then seen as having a wave-particle duality.
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