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Broglie, Louis-Victor Pierre Raymond, Duc

waves particles family wave

(Duke) de, Prinz (Prince) [broglee] (1892–1987) French physicist: discoverer of the wave nature of particles.

Louis de Broglie was a member of a Piedmontese family; in 1740 Louis XIV had conferred on the head of the family the hereditary title of duc , which Broglie inherited in 1960 on the death of his brother Maurice (who was also a physicist). The German title Prinz dated in the family from service to the Austrians during the Seven Years War (1756–63). Broglie studied history at the Sorbonne and acquired an interest in science by service at the Eiffel Tower radio station during the First World War. He then took a doctorate at the Sorbonne (1924) and taught there as the professor of theoretical physics at the newly founded Henri Poincaré Institute (1928–62).

Our ideas concerning quanta stem from (1900), and modern ideas on the interaction of matter and energy had begun with in 1905. Broglie’s work began with a derivation of electromagnetic radiation law, based on light quanta with frequency v, mass h v/ c 2 and momentum h v/ c (1922). It then occurred to him to go beyond the idea of waves acting as particles and to suggest that particles can behave as waves. A particle such as an electron should move at the group velocity of a number of matter waves, which have wavelength ? = h /m v. This revolutionary idea appeared in Broglie’s doctoral thesis of 1924, which was published as a paper of over 100 pages in Annales de Physique in 1925. The waves were detected and agreement with ? found through the wave interference, using the atoms of a crystal lattice as a diffraction grating. This was done by using slow electrons (59 eV) and by using fast electrons in 1927. The wave-particle duality was used by in his formulation of quantum mechanics, and it also began the great debate as to whether there is determinacy in quantum mechanics. Broglie received the Nobel Prize for physics in 1929.

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