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.



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