On the True Ideas Underlying Wave Mechanics

  • Louis de Broglie


I presented the first principles of wave mechanics in three Notes that appeared in Comptes rendus of September-October 1923 and later gave a more elaborate version in my Doctoral Thesis submitted on the 25th of November, 1924. My essential idea was to generalize for all particles the coexistence of waves and particles which had been discovered by Einstein in 1905 for the case of light and photons. In conformity with the clear ideas of classical physics, I tried to imagine a real physical wave which transported minute and localized objects through space in the course of time. Two ways of doing so then occurred to me. The first is not taught anymore in the ordinary classroom, but today I consider it by far the more profound. It was sketched in my 1923 Notes and further developed in the first chapter of my Thesis. It was based on the difference between the relativistic transformations of the frequencies of a wave and of a clock. Assuming that a particle possesses an internal vibration, which causes it to resembe a little clock, I supposed that this clock moved in its wave in such a manner that its internal vibration remained always in phase with the vibration of the wave. This is the postulate of “phase coincidence” These hypotheses appeared to me necessary because the relation W = hv, when applied to a particle, implies the existence of an internal frequency v of the particle, while it is known since the work of Planck and Einstein that v is also the frequency of the wave carrying the particle. Hence, the particle appears to be incorporated in the wave, such that it occupies a tiny region where the wave amplitude is very large.


Localize Object Geometric Optic Spherical Wave Wave Mechanic Relativistic Transformation 
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References and Notes

  1. 1.
    L. de Broglie, La réinterprétation de la Mécanique ondulatoiie (Gauthier-Villars, Paris, 1971).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    L. de Broglie, La Theimodynamique de la paiticule isolée (Gauthier-Villars, Paris, 1964).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Louis de Broglie
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut Henri PoincaréParisFrance

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