Compton Effect Documents

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Main Document

Compton Effect 

written by Jose Ignacio Fernández Palop

The Compton Effect model simulates the  the scattering of light off of an electron, the Compton effect. Compton used the idea that light behaves like a particle to explain light-electron (photon-electron) scattering. He used the relation for the energy and momentum of the photon and the relativistic expression for the energy of the electron, and applied relativistic energy and momentum conservation for the collision. The wavelength shift of the light depend on the angle of the scattered photon (and the electron). By changing the scattering angle in the simulation, the angle of the scattered photon changes according to Compton's equation. The panel on the left shows the experimental set up, while the panel on the right shows the resulting photon wavelength from the scattering. In a typical Compton experiment, light is scattered off of the electrons in an atom, and there is little scattering due to the more tightly held electrons while there is more scattering due to the less tightly held electrons. This is what is responsible for the two peak distribution shown.

The Compton Effect model was created using the Easy Java Simulations (EJS) modeling tool.  It is distributed as a ready-to-run (compiled) Java archive.  Double clicking the ejs_qm_compton.jar file will run the program if Java is installed.

Last Modified June 3, 2013

This file has previous versions.

Source Code Documents

Compton Effect Source Code 

The source code zip archive contains an XML representation of the Compton Effect Model.   Unzip this archive in your EJS workspace to compile and run this model using EJS.

Published December 12, 2010
Last Modified December 12, 2010