Arthur Compton, US physicist

Arthur Compton, US physicist

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Credit: Steven Deutch, courtesy AIP Emilio Segre Visual Archives /SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Arthur Compton (1892-1962), US physicist, in his X-ray laboratory. Compton received the 1927 Nobel Prize in Physics for showing that photons have energy and momentum, and that in quantum mechanics, an object can behave as both a particle and a wave at the same time. This is known as wave-particle duality. He also studied cosmic rays, the rain of high-energy particles that arrives at Earth from space. He showed that some of these were deflected by the Earth's magnetic field. NASA's Compton Gamma Ray Observatory satellite was named in his honour.

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