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What determines the Compton scattering angle?

  1. Dec 8, 2015 #1

    I've been reading about Compton scattering and I don't understand what determines the angle at which the electron and photon are scattered. Is it a quantum process, and therefore the value of the angle is "random"? If it is a quantum process, is there any theory that gives the probability distribution for this angle?

    Thank you for your time.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 8, 2015 #2


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    Yes and yes.

    More precisely, the relevant theory is quantum electrodynamics (QED).
  4. Dec 8, 2015 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    The angular probability distribution for Compton scattering is basically given by the Klein-Nishina formula.
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