Thursday, December 8, 2011

De Broglie waves and relativity

Another extremely interesting connection between relativity and quantum mechanics is that the quantum De Broglie waves can be understood as an effect of the relativistic desynchronization of clocks given that the clocks rotate with a frequency proportional to the total energy of the particle.   

Imagine a train with a long chain of synchronized clocks from one extreme to the other with the synchronization established according to an observer moving along with the train. Another person standing still on the train station will conclude that the clocks are actually not synchronized (what he would see is a different thing). If the train is moving to the right, the clocks on the right will be ahead respect to the clocks on the left. The De Broglie wave length will be the length that stretches 12 hours of desynchronization.   

[1] W. Baylis, Canadian Journal of Physics, 2007, 85:(12) 1317-1323, 10.1139/p07-121

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