What is Compton scattering?


Quick Answer

Compton scattering is a phenomenon that is observed when a charged particle hits a carbon target. When this occurs, photons are scattered in the form of x-rays. The photons are scattered inelastically, resulting in a decrease of energy in the system.

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What is Compton scattering?
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Full Answer

Compton scattering causes an overall decrease in energy by transferring energy to the system. The scattered photons carry high amounts of energy. Part of their energy is transferred to the electrons that initially caused the scattering effect. These electrons absorb the energy as they recoil through the system. Inverse Compton scattering also occurs. This exists when a charged particle such as an electron transfers energy to a photon.

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