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Arthur Compton, US physicist

Arthur Compton, US physicist

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AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Arthur Compton (1892-1962), US physicist. Compton won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1927 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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