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Louis de Broglie and the Atomic Theory


Hannah Wang

on 21 September 2015

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Transcript of Louis de Broglie and the Atomic Theory

Louis de Broglie
Born on August 15th, 1892
Died on March 19th, 1987 (at the age of 95)
French physicist
Was a professor of theoretical physics from 1928 to 1962 (the use of mathematics to explain natural phenomenons)
In 1924, de Broglie wrote his doctoral thesis
His thesis explored the idea that light has the properties of both a particle and a wave (this notion had been previously proposed by Einstein)
de Broglie wondered if the same idea could be applied to matter
de Broglie's Thesis
de Broglie proposed that electrons also have properties of waves (such as a wavelength or a frequency)
Before de Broglie's proposal, scientists had no solid explanation for why electrons had a restricted motion around the nucleus
de Broglie's new theory suggested that the nuclear charge of the atom acted as a boundary for the wave, and would therefore restrict the movement of the electrons around the nucleus
At the time when de Broglie put forth the idea of the wave nature of electrons, there was zero evidence to support it
However, in 1927, 2 Americans (Clinton Davisson and Lester Germer) conducted the Davisson-Germer experiment which resulted in evidence that confirmed de Broglie's earlier hypothesis
de Broglie's hypothesis also served as the basis of Schrödinger's wave mechanics theory
A New Theory
In 1929, de Broglie won the Nobel Prize in physics for his discovery of the wave nature of electrons
In 1952, he won the Kalinga Prize given by the United Nations Economic and Social Council for his contributions of science to the public
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