Home » Essay Competition 2023 » Essay Competition Winners

2022 Essay Competition Winner – 16-18

Back

Take a look at one of this year’s winning entries to the Immerse Education Essay Competition from the Physics category.

Congratulations to all participants and in particular to those who have won 100% scholarships!

Which scientist made the most significant contribution to the field of physics?

by Maria K

There were several scientists whose contribution to physics is indescribably vital, one of them being Isaac Newton [1], the culminating figure of the Scientific Revolution, who formulated the three laws of motion and the law of universal gravitation, and who is the founder of modern optics; and second of them being Albert Einstein [2], the Nobel Prize winner and the author of the theory of relativity. However, Louis de Broglie is a scientist who, by his unprecedented thesis on the dual nature of the matter, abolished the existing perception of the world.

Dual nature is the concept of matter having both properties of a particle and a wave. It resulted from the observations that our whole universe consists of matter and electromagnetic radiation. As they both are a form of energy, they can transform into each other. [3]

People wonder why we do not see the dual nature of matter in our everyday lives. The truth is that the wavelengths of ordinary objects are too small to be detected by our sight. Let’s take a ball with a mass of 200g and a speed of 30 𝑚𝑠-1 as an example. To calculate its wavelength, we need to use the Broglie equation: λ = ℎ/𝑚𝑣 where λ is the wavelength, h is Planck’s constant equal to 6. 63 × 10 Js, m is the mass, and v is the −34 speed. After substituting the values, we get: λ = (6. 63 × 10 ) / ( = m−342 × 30) 1. 105 × 0 −34. It is obvious that the wavelength with an exponent of -34 is too small to be seen.

Another problem is that matter behaves as a particle or a wave, depending on how it is being observed. [4] The wave-particle nature of light was admitted, as light is a transverse wave, but at the same time, it consists of particles called photons. This property is shown in a photoelectric effect.

The reversed relation in turn, which is a particle-wave duality, was more challenging to be proved. Fortunately, the scientists Davisson and Germer have managed to verify this theory. In the Davisson-Germer experiment, the electrons were interfering with each other and behaving exactly like waves.

Quantum physics, and especially the theory of de Broglie, seemed to be so illogical that I was arguing with my teacher that it cannot be true. Classical physics and the determinist universe are what I was, at that time, taught, and quantum ideas did not then suit my schema and my knowledge about our world. I was not alone. Many famous scientists were once also against this innovative way of perceiving the world, one of them being Einstein who stated: “God does not play dice with the universe”. He critiqued the idea of the probabilistic nature of our world, which is the fundamental assumption of quantum physics. Later on, however, Einstein had to admit his mistake. He even got the Nobel Prize for an explanation of the mentioned photoelectric effect. [7]

In conclusion, Louis de Broglie made the most significant contribution to modern physics, as his thesis completely changed the way of thinking of many scientists and I believe that it will lead to huge discoveries and inventions in the future.

Bibliography

[1] R.S. Westfall, “Isaac Newton” Encyclopædia Britannica. 2022.
[2] M. Kaku, “Albert Einstein” Encyclopædia Britannica. 2022.

[3] Amsh, “de Broglie concept of matter waves: dual nature of matter” Winner Science. n.d.

[4] Kognity, “The Failures of Classical Physics” IBDP Physics HL. 2016.

[6] Anurag652, “Davisson-Germer experiment” GeeksforGeeks. 2021.[5] Kognity, “The photoelectric effect” IBDP Physics HL. 2016

[7] “The Nobel Prize in Physics 1921” The Nobel Prize. 2022.

References List:


Amsh, “de Broglie concept of matter waves: dual nature of matter” Winner Science. n.d.
[https://winnerscience.com/de-broglie-concept-of-matter-waves-dual-nature-of-matter/ / last accessed
20 August 2022]


Anurag652, “Davisson-Germer experiment” GeeksforGeeks. 2021.
[https://www.geeksforgeeks.org/davisson-germer-experiment/ / last accessed 20 August 2022]


Kaku, Michio, “Albert Einstein” Encyclopædia Britannica. 2022.
[https://www.britannica.com/biography/Albert-Einstein / last accessed 20 August 2022]


Kognity, “The Failures of Classical Physics” IBDP Physics HL. 2016.
[https://app.kognity.com/study/app/physics-ib1-class-of-2023/sid-49-cid-144306/book/the-failures-ofclassical-physics-id-6783/ / accessed 20 August 2022]


Kognity, “The photoelectric effect” IBDP Physics HL. 2016.
[https://app.kognity.com/study/app/physics-ib1-class-of-2023/sid-49-cid-144306/book/the-failures-ofclassical-physics-id-6783/ / accessed 20 August 2022]


Westfall, Richard S., “Isaac Newton” Encyclopædia Britannica.2022.
[https://www.britannica.com/biography/Isaac-Newton / last accessed 20 August 2022]
“The Nobel Prize in Physics 1921” The Nobel Prize. 2022.

Why Apply To The Immerse Education Essay Competition? 

Are you a highly motivated student aged 13-18? Have you ever wanted to experience studying at Cambridge or Oxford? 

The Immerse Education essay competition allows you the chance to submit an essay for the chance to be awarded a scholarship to the award-winning Cambridge summer school

How To Apply To The Immerse Education Essay Competition? 

The Immerse Education annual essay competition is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to win a scholarship to a Cambridge or Oxford summer school

If you’re aged 13-18 and you’re interested in applying to the Immerse Education essay competition then please visit our essay competition page for more details.

Subscribe to the Immerse Education newsletter for £100 off your programme*

We’ll send you our company updates and latest news. Subscribe for free by completing the form below.

*Not in conjunction with any other offers

Newsletter Signup