Compton, Arthur Holly
BornWooster, Ohio, USA, 10 August 1892
DiedBerkeley, California, USA, 15 March 1962
American physicist Arthur Compton received the 1927 Nobel Prize (shared with C. T. R. Wilson, 1869–1959) in Physics for discovering the effect that bears his name. In the Compton effect, X-rays are scattered by individual electrons, with some of the energy of the X-rays being transferred to the electrons. Some modern detectors for γ rays and X-rays from astronomical objects make use of Compton scattering.
Compton was the son of a Presbyterian minister and professor of philosophy, Elias, and Otelia Catherine (née Augspurger) Compton. His older brother, Karl Taylor Compton (1887–1954), then president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, turned Arthur’s interests from engineering to physics. As a student at Wooster College (bachelor’s degree: 1913), Arthur invented and built a device (which he later improved) for measuring the rotation rate of the Earth and the observer’s latitude from inside a close ...
- Allison, Samuel K. (1965). “Arthur Holly Compton.” Biographical Memoirs, National Academy of Sciences 38: 81–110.
- Bartlett, A. A. (1964). “Compton Effect: Historical Background.” American Journal of Physics 32: 120–127.
- Compton, Arthur H. (1915). “A Determination of Latitude, Azimuth, and the Length of the Day Independent of Astronomical Observations.” Popular Astronomy 23: 199–207.
- —(1917). “The Intensity of X-Ray Reflection and the Distribution of the Electrons in Atoms.” Physical Review 9: 29–57. (Compton’s Ph.D. thesis.)
- —(1922). “Secondary Radiations Produced by X-rays.” Bulletin of the National Research Council 20: 16–72.
- —(1923). “A Quantum Theory of the Scattering of X-rays by Light Elements.” Physical Review 21: 483–502.
- —(1940). The Human Meaning of Science. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.
- —(1956). Atomic Quest: A Personal Narrative. New York: Oxford University Press.
- —(1961). “The Scattering of X Rays as Particles.” American Journal of Physics 29: 817–820.
- —(1973). Scientific Papers of Arthur Holly Compton, edited by Robert S. Shankland. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- Compton, A. H. and R. L. Doan (1925). “X-Ray Spectra from a Ruled Reflection Grating.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 11: 598–601.
- De Maria, M. and A. Russo (1989). “Cosmic Ray Romancing: The Discovery of the Latitude Effect and the Compton-Millikan Controversy.” Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences 19: 211–266.
- Stuewer, Roger H. (1971). “Arthur Holly Compton and the Discovery of the Total Reflexion of X-Rays.” In Histoire de la physique, pp. 101–105. Actes, XIIe Congrès international d’histoire des sciences, Paris 1968, Vol. 5. Paris: A. Blanchard.
- —(1975). The Compton Effect: Turning Point in Physics. New York: Science History Publications.
- —(1976). “On Compton’s Research Program.” In Essays in Memory of Imre Lakatos, edited by R. S. Cohen et al., pp. 617–633. Dordrecht: D. Reidel.
- —(2000). “The Compton Effect: Transition to Quantum Mechanics.” Annalen der Physik 9: 975–989.
- Wheaton, Bruce R. (1983). The Tiger and the Shark: Empirical Roots of Wave-Particle Dualism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Compton, Arthur Holly
- Reference Work Title
- Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers
- pp 449-451
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- Springer New York
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- Springer Science+Business Media New York
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- Editor Affiliations
- 1. Department of Earth Science, University of Northern Iowa
- 2. University of California, Irvine School of Physical Sciences
- 3. Rice University
- 4. Whitman College
- 5. York Univesity
- 6. University of Wisconsin
- 7. University of Oklahoma
- 8. Harvard University
- Author Affiliations
- 378. Dipartimento di Filosofia e Scienze dell’Educazione, Università di Torino, Via Gaudenzio Ferrari 9/11, 10124, Torino, Italia
- 379. Dipartimento di Fisica, Università di Genova, Via Dodecaneso 33, 16146, Genova, Italia
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