Arthur Holly Compton

Arthur Holly Compton (* 10. September 1892 in Wooster; † 15. March 1962 in Berkeley) was an US-American physicist.


after conclusion of the school visited Compton the college of Wooster, whereits father, Elias Compton, when Dekan and professor were active. To successful graduation (1913) Compton changed to the Princeton University, in order to study physics there. Here it acquired 1914 its master Degree, two years later followed thatDoctor title. After an activity in the free economy he worked for one year (1919) to Cambridge University (Massachusetts). 1920 received the call the Washington University ( Saint Louis, Missouri ) to Compton. It changed 1923to the university of Chicago. From 1942 to 1945 Compton was in the context of the Manhattan project leader the plutonium research department (→ nuclear weapon). To the Second World War it returned to Saint Louis (Missouri).

Compton examined the dispersion around 1922 from monochromatic X-ray at crystals and the following observation made: The strewn radiation knows a smaller energy and a larger wavelength up than the radiation before the dispersion. This test result was permitted the conclusion, that the wavelength of high-energy electromagnetic radiationchanges, if it is strewn at electrons. Therefore, then Compton continued to conclude, must possess the radiation a particle character. He found the finally following explanation: X-ray consist, like other electromagnetic jets, of light quanta or photons. A photon meets with a certainEnergy and a certain impulse on an electron, then it transfers a small portion of its energy and its impulse with the collision to the electron. The photon is diverted under a certain angle against the direction of arrival, while the electron under oneother angle evades (Rückstosslelektron). The physicist had discovered hereby late Compton-effect designated after him.

It succeeded to its Scottish colleague Charles T only little later. R. To prove Wilson the “avoiding” electrons with a cloud chamber. For these work Compton dividedand Wilson 1927 the Nobelpreis for physics. Beside the work with x-ray and gamma radiation busy itself Compton also with nuclear chain reactions and cosmic rays.

His older brother Karl Taylor Compton (1887-1954) was a physicist and from 1930 to 1948 presidentthe WITH.


  • the atom bomb and I: e. personal experience report. - Frankfurt A.M. : Nest Verl., 1958
  • The freedom OF one. - New Haven: Yale Univ. Pr., 1935
  • X-ray and OTHER of studies. - Chicago:Univ. Pr., 1973

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