Title

What is the Frequency of an Electron Wave?

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-2016

Publication Title

European Journal of Physics

Abstract

Particle-wave duality is a central tenet of quantum physics, and an electron has wave-like properties. Introductory texts discuss the wavelength-momentum relationship lambda = h/p, but do not discuss the frequency-energy relationship. This is curious since a wave is periodic both in space and time. The discussion in more advanced texts is not satisfactory either since two different expressions for the frequency are given based on the relativistic and non-relativistic expression for the electron energy. The relativistic expression yields the correct frequency, and we explain why the expression based on the Schrodinger equation gives the incorrect expression. We argue that the electron frequency should be discussed at the introductory level.

Original Citation

Ulrich Zurcher, "What is the frequency of an electron wave?" Eur.J.Phys. 37 (4), 045401 (2016).

DOI

10.1088/0143-0807/37/4/045401

Volume

37

Issue

4