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The Cosmic Mystery Tour$
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Nicholas Mee

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198831860

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198831860.001.0001

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The Rosetta Stone and Quantum Waves

The Rosetta Stone and Quantum Waves

(p.11) The Rosetta Stone and Quantum Waves
The Cosmic Mystery Tour

Nicholas Mee

Oxford University Press

It was discovered in the early decades of the twentieth century that light and matter exhibit both wave-like and particle-like behaviour and this led to the development of quantum theory. Thomas Young demonstrated the wave-like behaviour of light 200 years ago. Thomas Young had wide-ranging interests and played an important role in deciphering hieroglyphic inscriptions. In 1905 Einstein showed that light also behaves like a stream of particles. Louis De Broglie suggested that particles such as electrons might also show wave-like behaviour and his prediction was soon verified in the laboratory. This led to the development of quantum mechanics, as well as important technological applications, such as the electron microscope.

Keywords:   hieroglyphics, quantum mechanics, Thomas Young, electron microscope, De Broglie, Einstein

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