Compton family

Compton family

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Credit: AIP Emilio Segre Visual Archives, Physics Today Collection /SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Family portrait of the Compton family. Left to right, standing: US physicists Karl Compton (1887-1954) and Arthur Compton (1892-1962), Wilson Compton; middle row: Otelia Compton, Elias Compton; front: Mary Compton. Karl Compton's 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. Arthur 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.

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