Compton, Arthur Holly

Compton, Arthur Holly, 1892–1962, American physicist, b. Wooster, Ohio, grad. College of Wooster (B.S., 1913), Ph.D. Princeton, 1916. He was professor and head of the department of physics at Washington Univ., St. Louis (1920–23), and professor of physics at the Univ. of Chicago (1923–45), where he helped to develop the atomic bomb. He returned to Washington Univ. where he was chancellor (1945–53) and professor (from 1953). For his discovery of the Compton effect he shared with C. T. R. Wilson the 1927 Nobel Prize in Physics. In addition to his work on X rays he made valuable studies of cosmic rays. His writings include X Rays and Electrons (1926; 2d ed., with S. K. Allison, X-Rays in Theory and Experiment, 1935), The Human Meaning of Science (1940), and Atomic Quest (1956).

See his Cosmos of Arthur Holly Compton, ed. by M. Johnston (1968) and Scientific Papers, ed. and with an introd. by R. S. Shankland (1973).

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