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