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  1. Introduction
  2. Topics of the experiment
  3. How to prepare for experiment
  4. Relevant questions for preparation
  5. The experimental schedule
  6. Literature
  7. Links


The Compton effect is an elastic collision between a gamma-ray photon and an electron which is essentially free. This is a very fundamental process in electromagnetic interaction as well as of considerable practical importance.

Topics of the experiment

How to prepare for the experiment

  1. At the beginning of the first week ("study" week) Please contact the experiment instructor.
  2. Read the experiment's instructions (still not up to date).
  3. Read the relevant literature:
    1. General introduction:
      A. Das and T. Ferbel, "Introduction to nuclear and particle physics", 2nd ed., World Scientific, River Edge N.J., 2003 (Chapters 2 & 4, and Section 5.4).
    2. Main references for the Compton experiment :
      A. C. Melissinos and J. Napolitano, "Experiments in Modern Physics", Elsevier Science, 2nd Ed, (2003).
      • Particle Detectors and Radioactive Decay, Sections : 8.1, 8.2, 8.4 (Read carefully).
      • Scattering and Coincidence Experiments, Sections : 9.1, 9.2 (Read very carefully).
      • Elements from the Theory of Statistics, Sections : 10.1, 10.3, 10.4 .
    3. The Compton Experiment, from ORTEC, (Optional)
    4. Experimental equipment (Scintillation detectors, MCA, ADC, PMT):
      • W. J. Price, "Nuclear Radiation Detection”, McGraw-Hill, 2nd ed., 1964 (Chapters 7).
      • K.S. Krane, "Introductory Nuclear Physics", John Wiley & Sons, 1988 (Sections 6.1, 6.5, 7.1, 7.3, 7.5 - 7.7).(Additional)
    5. χ2 and data analysis (Optional) :
      • R. J. Barlow, "Statistics - A Guide to the Use of Statistical Methods in the Physical Sciences", Wiley, 1999 (Sections 5.3-5.6).
      • A nice paper about χ2:
        J. C. Earnshaw, 2 -or do the data fit the theory?", Eur. J. Phys. 11, 338, 1990.
  4. Study the experimental equipment.
  5. Learn the experimental schedule.
  6. Answer to the preparation questions.
  7. Read the Lab's safety instructions, Safe handling of radioactive sources, and this.

Relevant questions for preparation.

The experimental schedule


  1. Melissinos; Experiments in Modern Physics
  2. Price; Nuclear radiation detection
  3. Birks; The theory and practice of scintilation counting
  4. EG&G ORTEC ; Detectors & Instruments for Nuclear Spectroscopy
  5. web table of radioactive isotopes (version 2.1).


  1. X-Rays and the Compton Effect
  2. Why the Big Bang is Wrong
Itamar Levy 
Instructor of the COMPTON experiment
Room: High Energy Physics Lab (behind the Shenkar lobby) - Lab /
Kaplun 401 - Office

Phone: 03-640-9262/6449

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