|Compton effect (ˈkɒmptən)|
|a phenomenon in which a collision between a photon and a particle results in an increase in the kinetic energy of the particle and a corresponding increase in the wavelength of the photon|
|[C20: named after Arthur Holly Compton (1892--1962), US physicist]|
An increase in the wavelength of electromagnetic radiation, especially of x-rays or gamma-rays, when the photons constituting the radiation collide with free electrons. As a result of the Compton effect, the photons transfer some of their energy to the electrons. It is mainly through the Compton effect that matter absorbs radiant energy.