An Application of Matter Waves
Because electrons behave as waves, they can be used to illuminate objects in a manner similar to light. An electron microscope is an instrument that takes advantage of this situation. Electrons are given energy by accelerating them in a manner similar to the way a TV tube works. Then, using magnetic fields, they are directed at an object of interest. The electrons are focused to illuminate the object, and then to form the image of that object. A schematic diagram is shown in the diagram. This system can be used to look closely at very small objects.
The wavelengths of the electrons are related to their kinetic energies. In electron microscopes, wavelengths as much as 100000 times smaller than those of visible light can be achieved. With such small wavelengths, electron microscopes can reveal features that are as small as 0.000000001 meters (1 nm). You can find lots of electron microscope information and pictures on the web such as the ones listed below.
Boston Museum of Science / Electron Micrograph Image Gallery / CMM Image Gallery