Many students interpret wave-particle duality to mean that electrons and photons follow a sinusoidal path

Quantum and Nuclear

Misconception RESEARCH REVIEW

Resources to Address This

  • A lesson outline which can be used to compare the diffraction of electrons and light to introduce the idea of wave-particle duality. Particle momentum is linked to wavelength through the de Broglie equation.

    Students can practice using the de Broglie equation and learn how to interpret electron diffraction patterns.

    Use the lesson to explain the difference between the diagrams sometimes used to represent photons or electrons (wavy lines) to their actual straight-line paths.

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References

  • R. V. Olsen., () Introducing quantum mechanics in the upper secondary school: a study in Norway, International Journal of Science Education, 24 (6) 565-574,

    DOI: 10.1080/09500690110073982.

  • Dutt, A., () Making the Transition from Classical to Quantum Physics, Teaching Science, 57 (4) 33-36.

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