Waves

In order to understand electronic structure and the behavior of electrons, we must understand wave functions, as electrons travel in waves.

There are three properties of waves we will discuss:

  1. wavelength: the distance between two successive peaks or troughs of a wave.
    1. Symbol: λ (lambda)
    2. Units: meters (m) or nanometers (nm)
      1. Note: 1 m= 109 nm since wavelengths tend to be very small, nm are a more a practical unit to use.
  2. amplitude: the height of a waves above the baseline
  3. frequency: the # of cycles (waves) that pass thru a given point per second of time
    1. Symbol: υ (mu)
    2. Units: s-1 or 1/s

Wavelength (λ) and frequency (υ) of a wave are inversely proportional.

As wavelength increases, frequency decreases.

wavelength

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