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Scientific Papers of Arthur Holly Compton

X-Ray and Other Studies

Edited and with an Introduction by Robert S. Shankland
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.

826 pages | 7 halftones | 0.00 x 0.00 | © 1973

History of Science

Physical Sciences: Theoretical Physics

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

A Laboratory Method of Demonstrating the Earth’s Rotation

A Determination of Latitude, Azimuth, and the Length of the Day Independent of Astronomical Observations
Watching the Earth Revolve
The Distribution of the Electron in Atoms
The Variation of the Specific Heat of Solids with Temperature
A Physical Study of the Thermal Conductivity of Solids
On the Location of the Thermal Energy of Solids
A Recording X-Ray Spectrometer, and the High Frequency Spectrum of Tungsten
The Intensity of X-Ray Reflection, and the Distribution of the Electrons in Atoms
The Reflection Coefficient of Monochromatic X-Rays from Rock Salt and Calcite
The Nature of the Ultimate Magnetic Particle (with Oswald Rognley)
The Size and Shape of the Electron
The Non-molecular Structure of Solids
Note on the Grating Space of Calcite and the X-Ray Spectrum of Gallium
The Law of Absorption of High Frequency Radiation (Abstract)
The Size and Shape of the Electron: I. The Scattering of High Frequency Radiation
A Sensitive Modification of the Quadrant Electrometer: Its Theory and Use (with K. T. Compton)
The Size and Shape of the Electron: II. The Absorption of High Frequency Radiation
Radio-activity and Gravitation (E. Rutherford with A. H. Compton) (Letter)
A Photoelectric Photometer
Cathode Fall in Neon (with C. C. Van Voorhis)
Radioactivity and the Gravitational Field
Is the Atom the Ultimate Magnetic Particle? (with Oswald Rognley)
The Absorption of Gamma Rays by Magnetized Iron
Classical Electrodynamics and the Dissipation of X-Ray Energy
Possible Magnetic Polarity of Free Electrons
The Elementary Particle of Positive Electricity
The Degradation of Gamma-Ray Energy
The Wave-length of Hard Gamma Rays
The Magnetic Electron
Secondary High Frequency Radiation (Abstract)
The Polarization of Secondary X-Rays (with C. F. Hagenow) (Abstract)
A Possible Origin of the Defect of the Combination Principle in X-Rays (Abstract)
The Softening of Secondary X-Rays (Letter)
The Width of X-Ray Spectrum Lines
The Spectrum of Secondary X-Rays (Abstract)
The Intensity of X-Ray Reflection from Powdered Crystals (with Newell L. Freeman) (Letter)
Secondary Radiations Produced by X-Rays
Radiation a Form of Matter (Letter)
The Luminous Efficiency of Gases Excited by Electric Discharge (with C. C. Van Voorhis) (Abstract)
A Quantum Theory of the Scattering of X-Rays by Light Elements
The Total Reflexion of X-Rays
Recoil of Electrons from Scattered X-Rays (Letter)
Absorption Measurements of the Change of Wave-Length Accompanying the Scattering of X-Rays
The Spectrum of Scattered X-Rays
The Quantum Integral and Diffraction by a Crystal
A Quantum Theory of Uniform Rectilinear Motion (Abstract)
Scattering of X-Ray Quanta and the J Phenomena (Letter)
A Measurement of the Polarization of Secondary X-Rays (with C. F. Hagenow)
The Recoil of Electrons from Scattered X-Rays (with J. C. Hubbard)
The Wave-length of Molybdenum Ka Rays When Scattered by Light Elements (with Y. H. Woo)
The Scattering of X-Rays
A General Quantum Theory of the Wave-length of Scattered X-Rays
The Effect of a Surrounding Box on the Spectrum of Scattered X-Rays (with J. A. Bearden)
Measurements of B-Rays Associated with Scattered X-Rays (with Alfred W. Simon)
The Density of Rock Salt and Calcite (O. K. DeFoe with A. H. Compton)
The Grating Space of Calcite and Rock Salt (with H. N. Beets and O. K. DeFoe)
On the Mechanism of X-Ray Scattering
Directed Quanta of Scattered X-Rays (with Alfred W. Simon)
X-Ray Spectra from a Ruled Reflection Grating (with R. L. Doan)
Light Waves or Light Bullets?
Electron Distribution in Sodium Chloride (Abstract)
X-Rays as a Branch of Optics
Coherence of the Reflected X-Rays from Crystals (G. E. M. Jauncey with A. H. Compton)
On the Interaction between Radiation and Electrons
Some Experimental Difficulties with the Electromagnetic Theory of Radiation
The Spectrum and State of Polarization of Fluorescent X-Rays
The Corpuscular Properties of Light
An Attempt to Detect a Unidirectional Effect of X-Rays (with K. N. Mathur and H. R. Sarna)
A New Wave-length Standard for X-Rays
The Efficiency of Production of Fluorescent X-Rays
What Things Are Made Of: I and II
Compton Effect
The Determination of Electron Distributions from Measurements of Scattered X-Rays
Scattering of X-Rays and the Distribution of Electrons in Helium (Abstract)
Electron Distribution in Argon, and the Existence of Zero Point Energy
The Optics of X-Rays
A Precision X-Ray Spectrometer and the Wave Length of Mo Ka1
The Uncertainty Principle and Free Will
Assault on Atoms
The Appearance of Atoms as Determined by X-Ray Scattering (E. O. Wollan with A. H. Compton)
Incoherent Scattering and the Concept of Discrete Electrons
Scattering of X-Rays by a Spinning Electron
An Alternative Interpretation of Jauncey’s "Heavy Electron" Spectra
What We Have Learned from X-Rays
Physical Differences between Types of Penetrating Radiation
Modern Physics and the Discovery of X-Rays
The Scattering of X-Ray Photons
Man’s Awareness and the Limits of Physical Science (Abstract)
The World of Science in the Late Eighteenth Century and Today
The Scattering of X-Rays as Particles
Appendix 1: A. H. Compton and O. W. Richardson
Appendix 2: An Exchange of Letters between A. H. Compton and Gordon Ferrie Hull
Appendix 3: The Compton Experiment by Albert Einstein
Bibliography of Compton’s Scientific Works

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