The de Broglie Wave as Evidence of a Deeper Wave Structure

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Shanahan, Daniel
preprint description
It is argued that the de Broglie wave is not the independent wave usually supposed, but the relativistically induced modulation of an underlying carrier wave that moves with the velocity of the particle. In the rest frame of the particle this underlying structure has the form of a standing wave. De Broglie also assumed the existence of this standing wave, but it would appear that he failed to notice its survival as a carrier wave in the Lorentz transformed wave structure. Identified as a modulation, the de Broglie wave acquires a physically reasonable ontology, evidencing a more natural unity between matter and radiation than might otherwise be contemplated, and avoiding the necessity of recovering the particle velocity from a superposition of such waves. Because the Schrödinger and other wave equations for massive particles were conceived as equations for the de Broglie wave, this interpretation of the wave is also relevant to such issues in quantum mechanics as the meaning of the wave function, the nature of wave-particle duality, and the possibility of well-defined particle trajectories.