the increase in wavelength of monochromatic, electromagnetic radiation, as a beam of photons or x-rays, when it is scattered by particles whose size is small compared to the wavelength of the radiation.
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Also called Comp·ton-De·bye effect [komp-tuhn-de-bahy]. /ˈkɒmp tən dɛˈbaɪ/.
Origin of Compton effect
First recorded in 1920–25; named after A. H. Compton
Words nearby Compton effect
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for Compton effect
/ (ˈkɒmptən) /
a phenomenon in which a collision between a photon and a particle results in an increase in the kinetic energy of the particle and a corresponding increase in the wavelength of the photon
Word Origin for Compton effect
C20: named after Arthur Holly Compton (1892–1962), US physicist
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Scientific definitions for Compton effect
An increase in the wavelength of electromagnetic radiation, especially of x-rays or gamma-rays, when the photons constituting the radiation collide with free electrons. As a result of the Compton effect, the photons transfer some of their energy to the electrons. It is mainly through the Compton effect that matter absorbs radiant energy.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.