Karl Compton, US physicist

Karl Compton, US physicist

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Credit: Yousuf Karsh of Ottawa, courtesy AIP Emilio Segre Visual Archives /SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Karl Compton (1887-1954), US physicist. Compton's research was in the area of electronics and spectroscopy. He studied areas such as passage of photoelectrons through metals, ionisation, the motion of electrons in gases, fluorescence, theory of the electric arc, absorption and emission spectra of mercury vapour, and collisions of electrons and atoms. In 1930 he was made president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA. He was responsible for steering MIT through a huge change, developing a new approach to education in science and engineering.

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