Scientific Papers of Arthur Holly Compton: X-Ray and Other Studies

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University of Chicago Press, 1973 - Science - 777 pages
Arthur Holly Compton was one of the great leaders in physics of the twentieth century. In this volume, Robert S. Shankland, who was once a student of Compton's, has collected and edited the most important of Professor Compton's papers on X-rays—the field of his greatest achievement—and on other related topics. Compton entered the field of X-ray research in 1913 and carried on active work until the 1930s, when he began to specialize in cosmic rays.

During the years when Compton was an active leader in X-ray research, he made many notable contributions which are reflected in the papers presented here. He was the first to prove several important optical properties of X-rays, including scattering, complete polarization, and total reflection. He was also the first, with his student R. L. Doan, to use ruled gratings for the production of X-ray spectra.

Professor Compton's greatest discovery, for which he was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1927, was the Compton Effect. This was the outgrowth of experiments he had initiated during a year at Cambridge in 1919-20. He did the major portion of these experiments at Washington University in St. Louis during the period 1920-24. His work demonstrated that in the scattering of X-rays by electrons, the radiation behaves like corpuscles, and that the interaction between the X-ray corpuscles and the electrons in the scatter is completely described by the principles of the conservation of energy and momentum for the collisions of particles.

In his introduction, Professor Shankland gives a historical account of the papers, narrates Professor Compton's early scientific career, and shows how he arrived at a quantum explanation of the Compton scattering after eliminating all classical explanations.
 

Contents

A Laboratory Method of Demonstrating the Earths Rotation 5
5
Watching the Earth Revolve 8
14
The Variation of the Specific Heat of Solids with Temperature 12
30
On the Location of the Thermal Energy of Solids 14
39
A Recording XRay Spectrometer and the High Frequency Spectrum
45
1917
59
The Reflection Coefficient of Monochromatic XRays from Rock Salt
88
1918
94
The Recoil of Electrons from Scattered XRays with J C Hubbard 65
446
The Wavelength of Molybdenum Ka Rays When Scattered by Light Elements
457
A General Quantum Theory of the Wavelength of Scattered XRays 70
476
1925
485
On the Mechanism of XRay Scattering 78
504
XRay Spectra from a Ruled Reflection Grating with R L Doan 80
519
1926
525
Coherence of the Reflected XRays from Crystals G E M Jauncey with
544

The Nonmolecular Structure of Solids 23
105
Note on the Grating Space of Calcite and the XRay Spectrum of Gallium
135
Its Theory and
163
II The Absorption of High Frequency
177
1920
191
Cathode Fall in Neon with C C Van Voorhis 32
197
Radioactivity and the Gravitational Field 33
203
1921
220
Possible Magnetic Polarity of Free Electrons 37
261
The Wavelength of Hard Gamma Rays 40
286
The Magnetic Electron 41
294
Secondary High Frequency Radiation Abstract 42
305
The Softening of Secondary XRays Letter 46
311
The Spectrum of Secondary XRays Abstract 48
318
Radiation a Form of Matter Letter 52
378
The Total Reflexion of XRays 57
402
Recoil of Electrons from Scattered XRays Letter 58
413
Absorption Measurements of the Change of WaveLength Accompanying
414
The Spectrum of Scattered XRays 60
431
1924
438
Some Experimental Difficulties with the Electromagnetic Theory of Radiation
552
The Spectrum and State of Polarization of Fluorescent XRays 89
576
An Attempt to Detect a Unidirectional Effect of XRays with K N Mathur
597
The Efficiency of Production of Fluorescent XRays 94
613
I and II 95
630
Compton Effect 96
637
Scattering of XRays and the Distribution of Electrons in Helium Abstract
654
A Precision XRay Spectrometer and the Wave Length of Mo Ka₁ 105
672
The Uncertainty Principle and Free Will 106
684
1934
698
1936
707
Physical Differences between Types of Penetrating Radiation 168
721
1945
727
1952
737
1961
746
An Exchange of Letters between A H Compton
756
Bibliography of Comptons Scientific Works
763
Index 785
775
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About the author (1973)

Arthur Holly Compton (1892-1962) was Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Natural Philosophy at Washington University in St. Louis and directed the Metallurgical Laboratory of the Manhattan Project at the University of Chicago from 1942 to 1945. In 1927, he won the Nobel Prize in Physics for his discovery of the Compton effect in x-ray radiation.

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