Arthur Compton

American Physicist
Arthur Compton, 1927

Arthur Holly Compton (September 10, 1892March 15, 1962) was an American physicist who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1927 for his discovery of the Compton effect, which demonstrated the particle nature of electromagnetic radiation. It was a sensational discovery at the time: the wave nature of light had been well-demonstrated, but the idea that light had both wave and particle properties was not easily accepted. He is also known for his leadership of the Manhattan Project's Metallurgical Laboratory, and served as Chancellor of Washington University in St. Louis from 1945 to 1953.


  • The benefits of science are not only material ones. The truths that science teaches are of common interest the world over. The language of science is universal, and is a powerful force in bringing the peoples of the world closer together.

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