Lesson Plan: Matter Waves Physics

This lesson plan includes the objectives, prerequisites, and exclusions of the lesson teaching students how to calculate the de Broglie wavelength of massive particles that have a given momentum or velocity.


Students will be able to

  • recognize that all particles have an associated wavelength called the de Broglie wavelength,
  • recognize that the de Broglie wavelength of a particle is inversely proportional to its momentum,
  • use the formula 𝜆=𝑝.


Students should already be familiar with

  • how to use the formula 𝑝=𝑚𝑣 to find the momentum, 𝑝, of a particle with mass 𝑚 and velocity 𝑣,
  • how to use the formula 𝐸=12𝑚𝑣 to find the kinetic energy, 𝐸, of a particle with mass 𝑚 and speed 𝑣,
  • terms for the basic properties of waves: frequency, period, wavelength, wave speed, and amplitude,
  • how to use the formula 𝑣=𝑓𝜆 to find the wave speed, 𝑣, the frequency, 𝑓, or the wavelength, 𝜆, given the other two,
  • the names and basic properties of the following particles: the proton, the neutron, the electron, and the muon.


Students will not cover

  • electron diffraction,
  • the Heisenberg uncertainty principle,
  • wave functions,
  • quantum tunneling.

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