Compton scattering

scattering of photons off charged particles

In physics, Compton scattering, or the Compton effect, is the name used for what happens to the energy (or frequency or wavelength) of an X-ray or gamma ray photon when it interacts with matter; the wavelength increases (or energy/frequency decreases) as it scatters off electrons. This scattering is one of the main things that happen when gamma rays meet matter. The Compton effect was studied by Arthur Holly Compton in 1923.[1]


  1. Compton, Arthur H. (May 1923). "A Quantum Theory of the Scattering of X-Rays by Light Elements". Physical Review. 21 (5): 483–502. Bibcode:1923PhRv...21..483C. doi:10.1103/PhysRev.21.483.