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Maximum resolution by quantum mechanics

  1. Oct 14, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Microscopes are inherently limited by the wavelength of the light used. How
    much smaller (in order of magnitude) can we “see” using an electron microscope
    whose electrons have been accelerated through a potential difference of 50 000 V
    than using red light (500 nm)?

    2. Relevant equations

    Here's the problem... I have a vague reference to (theta)N*0.002 radians, but since this isn't even an equation, I don't know if it's helpful. My lecturer puts no effort into notes at all.

    3. The attempt at a solution

    Herein lies the problem, I don't know where to start, since it's mostly just a plug and chug problem, and I don't know the equation. Any pointers would be hugely appreciated!
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 14, 2009 #2


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    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Hi lagwagon555! :wink:
    Hints: how is resolution related to wavelength?

    What is the energy of each electron, and so what is its wavelength? :smile:
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