# Compton Scattering in Laymen's terms

• StephenP91
In summary, the conversation is discussing the absorption of photons by electrons in an atom and the relationship between the energy of the photon and the energy states of the electron. The speaker is unsure if the absorbed energy must be exactly equivalent to one of the energy states and is confused about conflicting information on the topic. The other person reassures them that they do not suck at physics and asks for clarification on the question.
StephenP91
I just need an explanation of this. Found it in a question.

Also, photons when absorb by an electron in an atom, does the energy (if less than the ionisation energy) have to be exactly equivalent to one of the energy states and if it isn't what happens?

You probably think I suck at Physics. You're right.

Thank you,
Stephen.

Last edited:
Umm... you really haven't given us (me) any reason to think you suck at physics

StephenP91 said:
Also, photons when absorb by an electron in an atom, does the energy (if less than the ionisation energy) have to be exactly equivalent to one of the energy states and if it isn't what happens?
To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure what that's trying to say.

diazona said:
To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure what that's trying to say.

Well, in the Photoelectric effect, when electrons get excited to a higher energy level when they attain some sort of energy. In the case of absorbing a photon, does the requisite energy (hf) have to be equal to the energy of one of the energy states.

The reason I ask this is because, on the marking scheme, one of the answers is that:

"A photon can lose all of it's energy, but not part of it"

Though, when I was reading about that Compton Effect I read something about absorbing part of it. So I am pretty darn confused.

## 1. What is Compton Scattering and how does it work?

Compton Scattering is a physical phenomenon where a photon (a particle of light) collides with an electron and transfers some of its energy to the electron. This transfer causes the photon to change direction and lose some of its energy, resulting in a change in its wavelength.

## 2. What is the significance of Compton Scattering in scientific research?

Compton Scattering is important in many fields of science, including physics, chemistry, and astronomy. It is used to study the properties of particles, such as electrons, and to understand the behavior of electromagnetic radiation, such as light. It is also used in medical imaging techniques, such as X-ray imaging.

## 3. How does the angle of scattering affect Compton Scattering?

The angle of scattering is an important factor in Compton Scattering. The change in the direction of the photon and the amount of energy transferred to the electron depend on the angle of scattering. This can be used to calculate the mass and energy of the electron, as well as the properties of the photon.

## 4. Can Compton Scattering occur with other particles besides photons and electrons?

Yes, Compton Scattering can occur with other particles, such as protons and neutrons. However, the amount of energy transferred and the effects of the scattering may be different depending on the particles involved.

## 5. How does Compton Scattering contribute to our understanding of the structure of matter?

By studying Compton Scattering, scientists can gain insights into the structure of matter at the atomic and subatomic level. The behavior of particles during this process can reveal information about their properties and interactions, helping us better understand the fundamental building blocks of the universe.

• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
10
Views
678
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
3
Views
2K
• High Energy, Nuclear, Particle Physics
Replies
21
Views
3K
• High Energy, Nuclear, Particle Physics
Replies
2
Views
1K
• Quantum Physics
Replies
8
Views
1K
• Quantum Physics
Replies
1
Views
1K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
3
Views
3K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
5
Views
3K
• High Energy, Nuclear, Particle Physics
Replies
2
Views
1K
• Quantum Physics
Replies
5
Views
4K