Arthur Holly Compton

Arthur Holly Compton was born in Wooster, Ohio in 1892. He was born into a family of intellectuals. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in 1913 and then spent three years working on postgraduate studies at Princeton. Afterwards, he spent a year as a phyics instructor and then went on to become a research engineer. In 1920, he was appointed Wayman Crow Professor of Physics and the Head of the Department of Physics at the Washington University, St. Louis. In 1923 he moved to the University of Chicago as Professor of Physics, but then returned to St. Louis as Chancellor in 1945. From 1954 until his retirement in 1961 he was named Distinguished Service Professor of Natural Philosophy at the Washington University.

Compton Scattering
In 1913 Compton devised a demonstartion method of the Earth's rotation, but he is more well knwon for his working on his stidies of X-ray scattering, which began in 1918. In 1922, he discovered that X-ray wavelengths increase because of scattering of the radient energy of "free electrons". This decrease in energy demonstartes the particle - like properties of light. This method obtained the name "Compton Scattering" and won Compton the Nobel Prize in physics in 1927.

Manhattan Project
In 1941, along with Vannevar Bush and Ernest Lawrence, Compton worked on the American program to develop an atomic bomb. He was placed in charge of investigating the properties of uranium and its manufacture. Due to wartime pressures, the Army took over this project and renamed it the Manhattan project during the summer of 1942. Right after the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese, Compton gained support to research plutonium at the University of Chicago. He worked on starting chain-reactions to change uranium to plutonium. After this, Compton remained a prominent scientific advisor and in 1945, he was part of the panel that advised the military use of the atomic bomb on Japan.